Who We Are
KidneyCAN is a patient-created and patient-driven movement, drawing energy and motivation from people all over the United States and the world whose lives are impacted by kidney cancer.
Our mission is to accelerate cures for kidney cancer by:
- advocating for government and industry funding,
- facilitating collaboration across research and clinical disciplines,
- offering direct financial support for researchers with promising ideas,
- engaging the patients and caregivers through educational outreach, and
- connecting patients with trial and treatment opportunities.
KidneyCAN was formed by kidney cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers who originally met through the Smart Patients forum. Recognizing the lack of critical research funding dollars, the KidneyCAN founders wanted to provide a means of stimulating research progress through advocacy and direct fundraising. In short, we provide a voice for the kidney cancer community as we work to accelerate cures.
Bryan has been an active legislative advocate and policy spokesman for the kidney cancer community in Washington, D.C., and across the U.S. for the past 6 years. In 2017, he was successful in spearheading the efforts to obtain $10 million for the inaugural Kidney Cancer Research Program (KCRP) pursuant to the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP.org).
While in Washington, Bryan was the Vice President, Operations & General Counsel for Brand USA, directing the day-to-day operations of the organization where he oversaw the legal matters, human resources, finance, accounting, events and information technology departments and assisted with the development of the organization’s long-term strategy and objectives.
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. Bryan was directly involved in the planning and support efforts for the passage of the Travel Promotion Act. He also had responsibilities for setting up and managing the association’s political action committee (Travel PAC).
A native of North Carolina, he earned his undergraduate degree in political science at Gordon College in Massachusetts and his law degree from Boston College. He is admitted to the bar in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. Bryan is a multi-year kidney cancer survivor. He and his family reside in Philadelphia, PA.
Bryan founded the Kidney Cancer Action Network (KCAN) in 2017 and subsequently merged with the Kidney Cancer Coalition in 2019 to form KidneyCAN.
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.
Brenda together with her husband Ralph, founded the Kidney Cancer Coalition in 2016 and subsequently merged their non-profit with KCAN to form KidneyCAN in 2019.
Ralph is the owner of Action Paving & Construction in Virginia Beach, VA. He started his company many years ago at the age of 24, and the company has grown to over 45 employees. Ralph is an avid golfer and loves the outdoors.
In 2014, at the age of 53, Ralph was diagnosed with stage IV renal cell carcinoma – kidney cancer. He continues to battle this disease today 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. Together, they founded the Kidney Cancer Coalition in 2016 and subsequently merged their non-profit with KCAN to form KidneyCAN in 2019.
Board of Directors
TONI CHOUEIRI, M.D.
Dr. Toni K. Choueiri is the Director of the Lank Center for Genitourinary (GU) Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI)/Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Jerome and Nancy Kohlberg Chair and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is the Co-leader of the Kidney Cancer Program at Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and past President of the Medical Staff at DFCI (2016-2018). He is the recipient of the George Canellos Award for Excellence in Clinical Investigation and Patient Care from DFCI and the Eugene P. Schonfeld Award from the Kidney Cancer Association (KCA). He serves on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Kidney Cancer Panel, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) GU Steering Committee, and is past Chairman (2015-2018) of the Medical and Scientific Steering Committee of the KCA. In addition, he is an Aresty Scholar from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Choueiri is interested in developing novel experimental therapies and biomarkers in GU malignancies, including renal cell carcinoma (RCC). His research also focuses on the epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment outcomes of GU cancers, especially through having co-established the International Metastatic RCC Database Consortium criteria for RCC risk stratification. His biomarker work has shed light on complex immunogenomics mechanisms contributing to response and resistance to targeted therapy and immunotherapy. He has also contributed to understanding of the underlying biology and rationale for therapies in rare histological variants of RCC such as papillary and sarcomatoid RCC.
Dr. Choueiri has received research funding from the NCI, the Department of Defense (DOD), the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and industry partners. His work has been published in journals such as the NEJM, Nature, Nature Medicine, Science, Cancer Cell, Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), JAMA Oncology, The Lancet, Lancet Oncology, and Journal of Clinical Oncology. He lectures frequently throughout the United States and around the world. He has over 600 PubMed-indexed publications and is the lead investigator of multiple national and international phase I-III clinical trials in GU cancers.
Glenn is the Executive Vice President of Energy and Natural Resources at Maine Pointe. He is a highly accomplished supply chain executive with 20+ years of international industry and consulting experience across all functional areas of supply chain and operations. He has led supply chain practices at multiple firms, with a focus on delivering significant income statement and balance impacts through cost structure, working capital and fixed asset optimization.
Before his work at Maine Point, Glenn was a Partner/Principal at Ernst & Young, North America 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 his career in consulting, Glenn served with the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of State in Europe and Asia Pacific.
Glenn has a degree in economics from Gordon College and an MBA from Indiana University, Bloomington.
Jolene Jarrell, RHIA, CCS, is the Chief Operations Officer at Enjoin. She is an experienced HIM professional with several years’ experience working in acute care facilities with responsibility and expertise in HIM operations, compliance, coding and auditing, revenue cycle, utilization management, chargemaster, and HIPAA privacy. Before her success at Enjoin, Jolene was an HIM Consultant responsible for assessing HIM operations related to revenue cycle management and leading process change using best practices. She graduated from Gardner Webb University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Healthcare Management.
Ms. Jarrell is a member of the American Health Information Management Association where she is recognized as a Registered Health Information Administrator and Certified Coding Specialist. She served on the North Carolina Health Information Management Association Board for over 10 years and was the NCHIMA President from 2014 -2015. Jolene was the recipient of the NCHIMA Distinguished Member Award in 2015 for her efforts in transforming the CSA’s operational and financial strategies to ensure sustainability. She currently serves on the NCHIMA Finance Committee.
Jolene resides in Raleigh, NC with her husband Chris Meadows.
Howard McClurd is an 18-year kidney cancer survivor and recent prostate cancer survivor. For over 25 years, he has been a successful owner of multiple businesses in the medical field. Howard currently owns a specialty medical supply company and a “One You Love Home Healthcare” franchise location in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area.
Howard has served on multiple nonprofit boards to help organizations grow and prosper, including “Dragonfly Forest” for children with autism, Down syndrome, persistent asthma, sickle cell disease, and hemophilia. As a fundraiser and supporter for many cancer organizations, he often brings his “Race for a Cure” racecar to charity events to raise money.
Howard focused his work and joined KidneyCAN in 2017 to team up with his cousin Brenda and her husband Ralph Knapp in funding research for a cure. With KidneyCAN, Howard works on medical and pharmaceutical outreach for funding and is a team leader for KidneyCAN’s advocacy efforts.
MICHAEL SIMS, D.D.S.
Michael has been practicing general dentistry for the past 33 years in the Virginia Beach, Virginia, 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 advises families on strategies to help enhance after tax yields on their investments and assets. He has been published 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, New York.
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.
LEGISLATIVE PATIENT ADVOCATE
Debra Beyhan has served as a volunteer and KidneyCAN’s Legislative Patient Advocate for several years. Deb leads the kidney cancer community of delegates for our advocacy events, including Spring and Fall Advocacy Days and our summer District Days event.
Deb has a deep understanding of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs’ funding process, as well as the impact of Congressional funding on kidney cancer research. She recruits advocates to grow our voice and helps our advocacy team present a strong case to Congress for continued research funding. Deb has also been instrumental in bringing doctors to our advocacy team in 2021.
Debra lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Angie Edwards has served as the Office Manager for KidneyCAN since 2019.
Angie coordinates KidneyCAN team and event schedules, manages projects and timelines, organizes records and documents, and keeps operations running smoothly. She also facilitates communication between KidneyCAN and partners, sponsors, and the general community.
Though she currently lives in Oreland, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Rob, Angie is a Georgia girl at heart and brings Southern hospitality to the KidneyCAN team.
Adrian Hayes joined the KidneyCAN team in 2019. She handles KidneyCAN’s communications needs, including the KidneyCAN and KCRS websites, social media channels, content strategy and promotion development, as well as graphic design.
Adrian has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of Virginia.
Adrian is the owner of Type A Virtual Solutions in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where she lives with her husband Jason and their four children.
MEDICAL SCIENCE LIAISON
Susan is a volunteer serving as our liaison with the medical and scientific community. In her professional career, Susan worked first as a teacher and then for 25 years as a medical physicist in radiation oncology before retirement.
Since her husband’s diagnosis with kidney cancer in 2007, Susan has served the kidney cancer community as a volunteer patient navigator on SmartPatients.com, particularly in patient education. Her special interest is in clinical trials, and she is a Patient Advocate for kidney cancer on the Renal Task Force.
Susan is a primary organizer of the Kidney Cancer Research Summit. She coordinates with our medical and scientific advisors on project development and funding, research summit logistics, arranging patient input for industry requests, and the development of educational content for patients.
DIRECTOR OF TECHNOLOGY
Angas has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Virginia (Tech) Polytechnic Institute and State University. Angas is a talented developer who has worked in the technology sector for various companies including FullStory, Sendbird, Orion Labs, and Insightly.
A drone and photography enthusiast, Angas is a go-getter with a passion for innovation and technology. He consistently seeks challenges and enjoys working within a team environment, so he can build his technical skillsets while contributing and learning from others.
Angas supports KidneyCAN’s technology needs, providing website and digital back-end platform support. He currently lives in Bozeman, Montana.
Scientific Advisory Board
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Researcher Spotlight: Dr. John T. Wilson Giving Patients "A Lot of Reason to Hope" At KidneyCAN, we have the pleasure of meeting and working with talented researchers from all over the world. We want to share some of the insights and experiences of one such researcher...
In 2016, Congress allocated $0 in funding dedicated to kidney cancer research. Through the power of advocacy, we have raised that number to $135 million in five years. We need YOU to keep this funding in place. Please plan to join our grassroots army for our second...
KidneyCAN is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit and does not receive any funding through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) or KCRP (Kidney Cancer Research Program). Our work is funded by grassroots donors in the kidney cancer community.