Our Mission

Our mission is to abolish Kidney Cancer as a threat to the life and health of patients by supporting patient advocacy and research by offering direct financial support for clinical and laboratory researchers with promising ideas.

About Us

The KC Coalition is a grassroots movement formed to support patient advocacy and accelerate kidney cancer research through direct financial support of cutting-edge researchers to better understand, treat and ultimately cure kidney cancer.

We are a registered 501(c)(3) charity (#81-3352468), please inquire for a copy of our IRS determination letter.

Our Co-Founders

Bryan Lews
Bryan LewsPresident & Co-founder
In recent years, Bryan Lewis has led the advocacy efforts for KCAN – (the Kidney Cancer Action Network) He has been an active legislative advocate and spokesman for the kidney cancer community in Washington, DC. Most recently, he was successful in spearheading the efforts to obtain $10 million for an inaugural kidney cancer program pursuant to the Congressionally Directed Medical Research program (CDMRP.org). Bryan also manages a boutique consulting practice, Veritas, LLC. Previously, he held the position of Vice President, Operations for Brand USA. Prior to joining Brand USA, Bryan served as Chief of Staff & General Counsel for the U.S. Travel Association, a Washington, D.C.-based trade association.

Earlier in his career, Bryan managed two start-up travel companies in Chicago, Illinois and Boston, Massachusetts. Bryan is a multi-year kidney cancer survivor. He and his family reside in Philadelphia, PA.

Brenda Knapp
Brenda KnappCo-founder
Brenda is a certified public accountant with over 25 years in public accounting where she has been an advisor to a wide variety of non-profit organizations. Her range of services to non-profits over the years have included preparing 990’s, preparing audited and reviewed financial statements and consulting.

In addition to her professional experience with non-profits, she has served on numerous charitable organization boards over the past 17 years. Her responsibilities have included all executive board positions, chairing fundraising events, and serving on numerous committees.

Brenda graduated with a BS degree in Accounting from Christopher Newport University in 1988.

Ralph Knapp
Ralph KnappCo-founder
Ralph is the owner of Action Paving & Construction in Virginia Beach, VA. He started his Company 31 years ago at the age of 24 and the Company has grown to over 45 employees. He is an avid golfer and loves the outdoors. In 2014, at the age of 53 he was diagnosed with stage IV renal cell carcinoma – kidney cancer. He continues to battle this disease and is committed to not only raising awareness but much needed research dollars for an underfunded cancer.

In 2015, Ralph and his wife Brenda raised over $300,000 to fund the RADVAX clinical trial for 25 advanced kidney cancer patients. Enrollment began spring of 2017 at the University of Texas, Southwestern in Dallas. The principal investigator is Hans Hammers, Md, Phd.

Ralph resides in Virginia Beach and Florida with his wife Brenda.

Our Directors

Glenn Hoskin
Glenn HoskinDirector
Ernst & Young, North America Partner/Principal leading efforts of Strategic Sourcing and Category Management. Glenn also leads the Central Region Advisory Services for Energy Market, Oil & Gas, Utilities, Diversified Industrial, Consumer Products and Chemicals Clients. Prior to EY, Glenn was a Managing Director, Global Supply Chain Practice at Accenture where he worked for over a decade. Glenn has degrees from Gordon College and an MBA from Indiana University, Bloomington.
Michael Sims, DDS
Michael Sims, DDSDirector
Michael has been practicing general dentistry for the past 33 years in the Virginia Beach, Va area. His various affiliations past and present include The American Dental Association, The Academy of General Dentistry, Mid-Western Orthodontic Society, VB Jaycees and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Dr. Sims also served as a regional dental director for Cigna insurance.
Dr. Sims graduated with a BS in Biology from The Catholic University of America and a DMD from University of Louisville School of Dentistry. Michael enjoys golfing and yachting in the Chesapeake Bay.
Steven Zeiger
Steven ZeigerDirector
Steven advises families on strategies to help enhance after tax yields on their investments and assets. He has been published in and cited in Trust & Estates Magazine. As a member of the National Association of Estate Planning Speakers Bureau, he has addressed over fifteen Estate Planning Councils. Steven, guided by the book “Blue Ocean Strategies”, helps advisors create market niches for their new business development plans. Steven and his family live in Chappaqua NY. He enjoys playing tennis, skiing, and ping pong and traveling with his family. He is currently training for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute Pan Mass Challenge and MSKCC Cycle For Survival.
Jolene Jarrell
Jolene JarrellDirector
Jolene Jarrell has more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry with expertise in the health information management field. Ms. Jarrell has a BS Degree in Healthcare Management. She is active in the North Carolina Health Information Management Association (NCHIMA) and past President 2014-2015. She has served as a volunteer for over 10 years and held multiple board positions. Currently, Jolene resides in Raleigh, NC with her husband Chris Meadows.
Merlinda Chelette
Merlinda CheletteDirector
Merlinda Chelette has a BS in Nursing and is a kidney cancer survivor. Ms. Chelette sits on the Patient Council Board at the University of Texas Southwestern and also volunteers weekly at the Simmons Cancer Center. Merlinda Co-Chaired the 2017 and 2018 Rock The Cure events in Dallas, Tx and Chaired the 2017 Tee Off Fore Kidney Cancer Golf Tournment also in Dallas. Merlinda currently resides in Texas with her husband Ricky.
Angas A. Reid
Angas A. ReidDirector of Communications
Angas has a BS in Business Management from Virginia (Tech) Polytechnic Institute and State University. He currently resides in San Francisco and works in technology in the Bay area. Angas heads the Kidney Cancer Coalition’s website, technical and social media platforms.

Medical Science Liaisons

Susan Poteat
Susan PoteatMedical Science Liaison

“Coming together is a beginning;
keeping together is progress; working together is success”

Henry Ford

Get Connected

The KC Coalition is a movement of those impacted by Kidney Cancer working together to abolish Kidney Cancer as a threat to the life and health of patients by accelerating research and offering direct financial support for clinical and laboratory researchers with promising ideas.

“Kidney cancer is the ideal sandbox for these new approaches, and without a doubt the same approach can, should and will be suitable for other cancers”

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