Our foundation would not be what it is without our excellent team of board members. Each and every person has brought the foundation to where it is today!
Carol, Executive Director of Friends of DBA, and her husband Jim started Friends of DBA in 2007 to raise money and awareness for Diamond Blackfan Anemia. Their son Trevor was diagnosed with DBA in 1997. They wanted to support research to fund a cure for DBA. Trevor is now an adult living with DBA and is the reason for Carol’s continued efforts. Carol brings her advertising and philanthropic experience along with her passion for raising money to help not only her son but many children and adults that suffer from this very rare disorder. Over the years the Foundation’s efforts have supported many research projects and have given financial support to many DBA families. Carol is a mom to 3 children, a wife, and a strong believer in “playing the hand you're dealt”. She continues to always look for the good in all people and believes there will be a cure someday for DBA.
Jim Mancuso, Trustee of Friends of DBA along with his wife Carol started Friends of DBA in 2007. After learning that very few funds were available for research, they held a small friend and family event. Their goal was to raise $3,000 – they raised $13,500! Now 12 years later with close to $750,000 raised their passion to fund a cure and support many DBA families in need is stronger than ever. Jim who has worked in the medical industry for over 33 years brings his knowledge to the foundation to help those who struggle with the acceptance of DBA. He strongly believes that creating awareness for DBA will help support fundraising efforts to fund a cure for this rare and sometimes fatal disease that has touched his family so deeply.
My name is Holly Rafie, and I have been serving on the DBA board for 3 years. I have known the Mancuso family since before Trevor was born and have watched and followed his journey with DBA since he was first diagnosed. I have supported the foundation since its inception; however, I felt called to action to join as a board member seeing all the great work the organization was doing and the impact, they were having on people’s lives. It is so gratifying to serve by reading and reviewing grant applications knowing our actions are making a difference in people’s lives. Carol and Jim are an inspiration to me personally in the vision that they have built and brought to fruition and the tenacity and compassion they lead with. I truly feel blessed to be part of the organization.
I’m Jalyn Mancuso. Growing up I’ve always had an interest in helping out with Friends of DBA. About four years ago I became more involved. I am now the social media assistant of Friends of DBA. I love reaching out to DBA families and hearing about their stories. I am a dance instructor. I teach all styles of dance as well as all ages. I love working with children and it is such an honor to share my passion with them and watch them grow.
My parents started the Friends of DBA foundation in honor of me. Growing up with DBA has had its challenges but that did not stop me from following my dreams of becoming a creative person. I have a bachelor's in Fine Arts with a minor in Marketing from the University of Cincinnati. I currently work as a graphic designer for a beverage distributor, Superior Beverage Group. I have always played a small part in the foundation from creating paintings for silent auctions to table centerpieces. Recently I have become a DBA board member as a web and print designer. In my free time, I work on perfecting my fine art skills in drawing and painting as well as learning more and more about my love for collecting vinyl records.
Sherie joined the DBA board as Secretary in 2010. She lends her skills as a marketing communications professional, project manager, and former PTA board member to Friends of DBA. Sherie became friends with the Mancuso family many years ago and enjoys volunteering with them to help raise funds and support other DBA families until a cure is found. Sherie works for Bridgestone’s credit division and enjoys cooking, hiking, reading, and spending time with family.
Mike Beres is a founding DBA Board Member since its inception 15 years ago. He has helped with planning and executing the charity events, such as The Night at the Races and annual golf outings. Mike is a dedicated husband of 26 years, father, and business owner. His priority is with his family and giving back to the community. As an engineer, Mike runs a successful manufacturing company for over 30 years. He has started and oversees a college internship program for engineering students giving students from various universities hands-on engineering experience and job opportunities in the Cleveland area. Mike is involved in volunteering and leadership positions on other Boards and is an active member of his Community.
Robin is a benefits advisor in the Cleveland area where she lives with her husband and two children. She is passionate about helping others and is honored to help make a difference with Friends of DBA. Robin’s favorite part of her role with the board is the ability to be creative in fundraising and event planning. Robin believes that you learn something new every day and from every person that crosses your path, you just have to be willing to listen.
Currently, I am attending Arizona State University, working towards a bachelor's in Fine Arts for digital photography, And I hope to complete my degree in the fall of 2023. I have been a flight attendant for the last 32 years and I am a veteran of the United States Air Force and Army. I believe everyone should give back to the community in some way and help whenever they see anyone in need. I have been part of this board since 2013.