Meet the Board of Directors
Colleen and Ron Bechtold
Colleen and Ron Bechtold live in northern California and are the parents of three children: Annika, Nolan, and Anton. Ron received his BSEE from Cornell University in 1983 and his MBA from Santa Clara University in 1991 and he is the V.P. of Sales and Marketing for Alfalight. Colleen received her BA in Liberal Studies in 1989 from Notre Dame de Namur University and her teaching credential in 2004 from NDNU. She is a first and second grade educator at a public school in San Carlos, California.
At three months old, their youngest son, Anton, was diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis. He was treated at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, where he received chemotherapy and steroids for six months. Fortunately, the disease was diagnosed early and Anton responded well to the treatment and has been in remission since 1999.
Once their lives began to stabilize, Ron and Colleen felt strongly about helping other families facing this disease. After a fortuitous conversation catalyzed their thoughts, they decided to launch a fundraiser for research into a cure for histiocytosis. In September 2001, they kicked off the first "Hike for a Cure.” It was a great success and inspired them to make this an annual event. Since 2001, Hike for a Cure (H4AC) has raised more than $1.3 million in funds for research. At the 10th Anniversary H4AC, Ron and Colleen announced their goal to find a CURE for histiocytosis by 2021. From this commitment and with a group of committed parents, they have become founding members of The Histio CURE Foundation. The goal is simple: to find a CURE.
Tom and Pam Sanger
Tom and Pam Sanger live in northern California and are the parents of two boys, Devin and Patrick. At 16 months old, Patrick was diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis. Treated at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, he did six months of chemotherapy and then relapsed four months after completing chemotherapy. Patrick then did 12 months of chemotherapy. He relapsed again 13 months later and was treated with chemotherapy for 2 ½ years. Patrick currently shows no evidence of disease and both boys are thriving, happy, and healthy.
Tom received a BSCE in 1994 and MSM in finance and operations in 1996 from Purdue University and is a manager of planning and logistics at Intel Corporation. Pam received a BA magna cum laude from Rutgers University in 1992 and an MA from Purdue University in 1994. She teaches in the Department of Communication Studies at California State University, Sacramento. Patrick’s bravery and resilience inspire his parents every day. Both Tom and Pam are passionate about finding a cure for histiocytosis. They are happy to be part of The Histio CURE Foundation in honor of Patrick and all the brave Histio Heroes.
Rosanne and Al Clifford
Rosanne and Al Clifford both grew up in the Bay Area of California and have remained there all their lives, raising four adult children. Rosanne and Al are no strangers to non-profits, both becoming involved in their children’s schools from fundraising needs to parent boards to coaching teams. They also become involved with the Epilepsy Foundation of Northern California when their eldest son was diagnosed with epilepsy at age five. They were involved with the board and parent support groups helping the organization with varied issues including lobbying on Capitol Hill. Rosanne has a degree in business administration and Al is a past president of both the San Francisco Realtor’s Association and the Olympic Club.
Their journey with LCH began in October 2005 with their youngest daughter, Colleen. In her senior year of high school, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor on her pituitary gland and had surgery to remove most of the growth. In 2007, Rosanne and Al became involved with the Hike For A Cure bringing a large group of family and friends, including their daughter’s high school field hockey team. Although their daughter is now working as a registered nurse at UC San Francisco, they continue to worry about the long term effects of Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis. Finding a CURE is their top priority.
Daniel E. Ramón
Daniel is a proud alumnus of Texas Christian University where he received his BA in Political Science/International Relations in 1994. He spent 18 years in Fort Worth before relocating to Houston for treatment. Daniel is also a board member of the local Houston TCU alumni board where he donates time to Horned Frog events.
In February 2010, Daniel was diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis when his doctors discovered a lesion in the C5 vertebrae of his neck. A six level spinal fusion was performed to repair his damaged neck. He has also undergone 27 months of chemo as part of his treatment plan. Today he is living strong in Houston. He first teamed up with The Histio CURE Foundation in March of 2012 when he participated in the Hike for a Cure Texas and was one of the first six participants in the Spit for a Cure campaign. Daniel is honored to be a board member of HCF and looks forward to helping others spread awareness about Histiocytosis.
Kirsty and her husband David live in Houston with their two children, Stuart and Catriona, although they are originally from the UK. Kirsty graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a BSc. (Hons) in Chemistry before working for a small environmental consultancy in Houston for a number of years. During their subsequent time in Australia, she returned to school to complete an MSc in Human Nutrition from Deakin University. Currently, Kirsty is a stay at home parent.
Moving is a constant in their lives but it has proved very fortuitous. Two months after moving back to Houston in 2011, Kirsty was diagnosed with LCH following the removal of a single skull lesion. In the right place at the right time, she quickly connected with Dr. Ken McClain at Texas Children’s Hospital and she has needed no further treatment to date.
She is honored to be playing a greater role in the fight for the cure as a board member for The Histio CURE foundation.
Shortly after his 31st birthday, Lucus began having extreme spasms in his neck. It was determined that he had a lesion in his C2 vertebral body as a result of Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis. In order to remove the lesion from his spine, surgery was done to remove the vertebral body. Subsequently, Lucus developed multiple LCH lesions in his pelvis while on his honeymoon in Bali. Lucus underwent six months of chemotherapy under the direction of Dr. Kenneth McClain and his wonderful colleagues at the Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital.
Lucus is an Environmental Scientist in Anchorage, Alaska. He is a lifelong Alaskan and recently welcomed his first child – Lucy Olive. Lucus enjoys skiing, fly fishing and otherwise being cold and wet. When not working, Lucus can be found with his wonderful family and Akita/Husky mix at his yurt located near Wrangell St. Elias National Park. As an adult LCH patient, Lucus is beholden to the children who struggle with histiocytosis and the aggressive treatments they must endure. Lucus is committed to supporting research towards finding a cure.
Wendy and Alexis Bertauche
Wendy and Alexis Bertauche live in Reno, NV. Alexis graduated with a bachelor's degree from UC Davis in 1992 and currently works as a Registered Respiratory Therapist at a level 2 trauma center in Reno, NV. Wendy graduated with a bachelor's degree from UC Davis in 1993 and a Master's degree a few years later. Wendy currently works for the Washoe County School District and is also an Independent Team Beachbody Coach. They have 3 boys, ages 13, 7 and one in Heaven. Their relationship with Histio began in 2008 when their middle son, Tanner, developed an odd looking lesion on his backside and started contracting his stomach to breathe. None of the doctors they sought out could figure out what was wrong and he was misdiagnosed several times before ending up in the PICU. Wendy and Alexis flew their son to Lucille Packard Children's hospital where he was properly diagnosed with JXG. Unfortunately, a treatment protocol was nonexistent and Tanner's treatment was a direct collaboration between Wendy, Alexis and Tanner's main oncologist from Children's Hospital Oakland. It meant many late nights on the computer, conference calls with the doctors, and frantically searching for any information they could get their hands on. Ultimately, Tanner was treated with 2CDA, which worked! Unfortunately, he relapsed on his 4th birthday and needed a bone marrow transplant. While prepping for the transplant, the Histio was just too much and Tanner's little heart stopped beating. Tanner passed on Nov 17, 2009. Wendy and Alexis found the Hike for a Cure a few months later and began their healing process with an 18 mile hike up Half Dome in their son's memory. They continue to fight for a cure in their son's memory because it is exactly the thing that Tanner would do!