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Who We Are

Who We Are

What is CLOVES Syndrome Community

 

In 2009 the mother of a child with CLOVES syndrome started a website and an organization, after she realized that no such resources existed for families and people with CLOVES. 

The vision of CLOVES Syndrome Community (CSC) is an improved quality of life for those living with CLOVES syndrome.   Our mission is to support, educate, empower and improve the lives of those affected by CLOVES syndrome.  

CSC does this by cultivating a thriving patient community, convening medical and family conferences, publishing books for children,  funding medical research and assisting families with long term medical costs.  We also bring families together for Betsy’s Camp, an annual opportunity for community, fun and relaxation.   CLOVES Syndrome Community is part of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Rare As One Network— a group of 30 patient-led organizations that are  driving progress in the fight against rare diseases.  We’re proud to be creating a patient-led research network to accelerate research and find treatment options for people with CLOVES and PIK3CA Related Conditions. CSC’s stakeholders are international and include: Individuals diagnosed with CLOVES syndrome and their families, friends, and caregivers; physicians and medical and allied health professionals; researchers; therapists; teachers; biotech and pharmaceutical companies.  CLOVES Syndrome-related foundations and nonprofit organizations; and individuals with PIK3CA Related Conditions and their associated patient advocacy organizations.


Testimonials

 

We are very grateful for the help and support from CLOVES Syndrome Community. The journey through this diagnosis has not been an easy one. Almost every aspect of our life has become complicated. But CSC has been a major support and help in getting knowledge and experience from each of the CLOVES families, the screening guidelines and of course the financial assistance.”

– CLOVES Family

CSC has been a lifeline to our family.

– CLOVES Family

CSC’s culture truly feels like a COMMUNITY, not an organization.  It feels intentionally inclusive and this allows for people to participate and benefit in ways that are most comfortable for them.

– Mom of a child with CLOVES

CLOVES Syndrome Community has been a saving grace for our son. We likely wouldn’t be aware of treatment options currently available, or have the screenings that have helped us to stay on top of his care and give him the best life we can, had CSC not existed!  We have met so many amazing families through this community that have given us so much hope for our son’s future.  This community is bonded and is stronger together in the struggle to make our needs known and more treatment options possible.  This organization is beyond a blessing and we are so grateful for all of the information and support that comes from this amazing organization.

– Jenny 

Mission and Goals

 

Mission:
CLOVES Syndrome Community supports, educates, empowers and improves the lives of those affected by CLOVES Syndrome.

Vision:
An improved quality of life for people with CLOVES Syndrome

Goals:

  1. Provide information and resources to educate others about CLOVES Syndrome
  2. Foster and promote a supportive community
  3. Build and sustain a broad base of funding sources to support our mission and goals
  4. Utilize incoming funds to provide financial assistance to those impacted by CLOVES Syndrome
  5. Participate in and promote CLOVES Syndrome research to assist in a complete understanding of the disease.

CLOVES Syndrome Community’s Inclusivity Statement

 

CLOVES Syndrome Community is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization that embraces diversity. We are committed to building an inclusive community, where all individuals and groups belong. CLOVES Syndrome Community supports people with disabilities, the empowerment of women, people from diverse backgrounds, the LGBTQ+ community, and groups that have been historically marginalized. We know that we are stronger together.

Our organization intentionally prioritizes international collaboration and inclusion, programs and initiatives that address the unmet needs of our patient population as well as user accessibility of our website and other educational resources. We are committed to ensuring that medical jargon and research progress is understandable to patients and families. We know that learning about and integrating diversity, equity and inclusion, is an ongoing work in progress. We are committed to that work.

Please join CLOVES Syndrome Community, as we bring together families, healthcare providers, patients and diverse stakeholders together, to improve the quality of life for people with CLOVES.


Board of Directors

 

Joe Barclay
Board Member, CLOVES Syndrome Community

Joe joined CLOVES Syndrome Community in October 2019. With 16 years of business management experience, Joe has helped build industry leading renewable energy firms. Joe is currently Chief Operating Officer at Greenlight Energy Group, LLC, the first WBE-certified renewable energy provider in the U.S., and founder and CEO of Orion Renewable Energy Trading Group LLC, the largest provider of renewable energy certificates to the Federal government. Joe has also held senior management positions with leading global renewable energy and carbon market firms. Joe brings his dedication and passion for growing businesses to CLOVES Syndrome Community and lives in Brooklyn with his partner Kelly and her daughter Grace.

Kyle Capossela
Board Member, CLOVES Syndrome Community

Kyle first learned of CLOVES after his nephew was diagnosed with it in 2019. The CLOVES Syndrome Community has helped educate his family about the disease and informed them of ways to help. He became associated with the CSC by becoming a volunteer in 2020. Kyle joined the Board of CSC in March 2022. He hopes CLOVES Syndrome Community can contribute to finding a cure for CLOVES and other rare diseases. Kyle is a Commercial Banker and resides in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Steve Handel
Secretary of the Board of Directors, CLOVES Syndrome Community

Steve joined CLOVES Syndrome Community in February of 2022. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Caring.com, a mission-driven company helping Seniors and their caregivers find long-term care. Steve has extensive leadership and management experience leading operations, strategy, sales, and marketing teams across a wide range of industries. He is passionate about helping the CLOVES Syndrome Community find ways to magnify their critical impact on our community.

Steve holds a Bachelor’s degree in finance and entrepreneurship from the University of Dayton and a Master’s in Business Administration with a focus on corporate strategy from The Ohio State University. He lives in Fort Mill, SC with his wife, April, and two boys, Noah (6) and Finn (4).

Ashley McNamara
Treasurer of the Board, CLOVES Syndrome Community

Ashley joined CLOVES Syndrome Community during the process of becoming a formal organization in the summer of 2011.   Ashley is a Certified Public Accountant.  She has held various accounting positions and currently works full time as a Financial Reporting Manager for an oil and gas company.  Ashley lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband Steve and children, Loretta and Van.

Irina Pivneva
Board Member, CLOVES Syndrome Community

Irina joined the CLOVES Syndrome Community (CSC) board in February 2022. She holds a degree in Psychology and Neuroscience and hopes that her experience in healthcare research would be helpful to the CSC. Although originally from Turkmenistan, Irina currently lives in Montreal, Quebec, Canada with her partner and two daughters, one of whom has CLOVES. CSC has provided the much needed access to information and support for Irina and her family.

Sara Robertson
Chair of the Board of Directors, CLOVES Syndrome Community

Sara is from Austin, TX and joined the CSC board in October 2019. The CLOVES community has played a crucial role in her family’s lives ever since they were told “I think your son has CLOVES, the good news is there’s a very strong community.” Sara’s hope is that everyone with a rare disease can find strength and support in a community for them.  Sara is Senior Vice President, production at Austin PBS and an active member of her community. Her most cherished role is as partner to husband Jeremy and mom to their children Sebastian and Ryder.


Staff

 

Lauren Beauregard – Executive Director

Lauren Beauregard’s journey with CLOVES Syndrome Community began in 2015, sparked by her daughter Kiki’s diagnosis. She has been involved with the community since then, notably contributing on the Family Advisory Council since early 2020 before becoming the organization’s Executive Director in 2024.

Lauren’s prior career in program management has granted her extensive experience in community engagement, team leadership, and project coordination, which she leverages daily in spearheading CLOVES Syndrome Community’s mission to improve the lives of those affected by this rare condition.

Finally, Lauren is the author of Four Leaf Clovers, a children’s book about living with physical differences, created in coordination with CLOVES Syndrome Community. She also contributed to Meet the PROS, a collaborative advocacy publication for children 8-12, funded by Novartis.

Noreen Fairley – Collaborative Research Network Coordinator

Noreen has worked supporting rare disease nonprofits for the last 7 years. Coming to the field from a childhood love of volunteering that evolved into multiple degrees focused on Nonprofit Management and International Administration. Past positions at several small nonprofits have allowed her to wear many hats and learn about all aspects of administration, program management, advocacy, communications, and development.

Noreen has attended and presented at rare disease conferences across the country and abroad. She has experience planning and executing patient and scientific conferences as well as interfacing with the research and pharmaceutical communities.

Publications:

Contribution of patient organisations to the NCLs

Guidelines on the diagnosis, clinical assessments, treatment and management for CLN2 disease patients


Founder

 

Kristen Davis

Kristen Davis founded CLOVES Syndrome Community in 2009, after her daughter Riley was diagnosed with CLOVES. At that time, no organization existed to support families and people living with this rare disease. CSC became a non-profit organization in July 2011. Kristen was the Executive Director of CLOVES Syndrome Community for 13 years, before stepping down in April of 2024. Her life journey and time at CSC has helped her study the art of riding the edges of impermanence, experiencing vast joy and great grief and witnessing ultimate hope and possibility each day.


Scientific and Medical Advisory Board

 

Our goal is to provide you with the most up to date, comprehensive and accurate medical information related to CLOVES Syndrome.

All medical material on this website is developed with oversight and direction from CLOVES Syndrome Community’s Scientific and Medical Advisory Board (SMAB). 

Denise Adams, MD

  • Director of Complex Vascular Anomalies Program (CVAP) at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Dr. Denise Adams is a pediatric hematologist oncologist in practice at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  Dr Adams will be leading a cutting-edge, multidisciplinary program that seeks breakthrough treatments and cures for children, adolescents and young adults with rare, life-threatening tumors and malformations of the vasculature, which includes the arteries, veins, capillaries, lymphatics and combined lesions. Of key interest to Dr. Adams is the improvement in care of patients with complex vascular anomalies.  Dr. Adams describes her philosophy of care as this . “Since my first high school biology class, I have wanted to be a physician and since residency my passion has been the care of chronically ill children. In fellowship, I found a new passion and goal…to care for children and young adults with vascular anomalies. This was a spectrum of diseases with limited treatment options and high morbidity that needed the care of physicians with keen interest in discovery to improve their outcomes. This is my mission.”

Guillaume J.M. Canaud MD, PhD

  • Professor in Medicine
  • Head of the Overgrowth clinical unit at Necker Enfants Malades Hospital, Paris, France
  • Head of the research laboratory “Precision medicine in rare diseases affecting the mTOR pathway” at Institut Necker Enfants Malades, Paris, France

Guillaume Canaud is a MD, PhD working at Renal Division of Necker Hospital in Paris. He did his medical school in Montpellier and moved to Paris in 2002 to perform his Residency in Nephrology (2002 to 2007). He became Senior Resident at Renal Division of Necker Enfants Malades (Prof. Legendre) in 2007. He spent four years from to 2008 to 2012 in the laboratory of Dr. Fabiola Terzi (INSERM U1151, Necker Enfants Malades Hospital), where he obtained his PhD degree in molecular and cellular biology. Then, as postdoctoral fellow, he joined the Joseph Bonventre’s Laboratory (Harvard Medical School) from 2012 to 2014 developing a project on the molecular mechanisms of chronic kidney disease progression. He rejoined Prof. Legendre’s team as Associate Professor in 2014 and opened his own research group dedicated to translational medicine. He obtained a very competitive European Research Council (ERC) starting grant (2015) for his research project on kidney and an ERC Proof of Concept Grant for his translational research proposal in rare diseases (2016).

Recently, Guillaume and his group, identified and reported in Nature a very promising therapeutic strategy for patients with a rare genetic disorder called PIK3CA-Related Overgrowth Syndrome. He published his work as first or last author in top leading medical and scientific journals such as Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Medicine, Science Translational Medicine or Proceedings National of the American Science. He is the inventor of 10 patents, and received numerous awards including the Prize Jean Lecocq of the French Academy of Sciences (2018), the Jean Hamburger Prize from the City of Paris (2019) and the Eloi Collery Prize from the French Academy of Medicine (2019, highest distinction).

In 2019, Guillaume became full Professor of Medicine at Necker Hospital/University Paris Descartes and created the first multidisciplinary unit dedicated to patients with overgrowth syndromes. In addition, he launched a private/public consortium (acronym COSY: Cure Overgrowth SYndromes) to improve the care and outcome of patients with overgrowth syndrome that was awarded with 9.4 M€ grant from the French government.

Craig M. Johnson, DO

  • Medical Director of Interventional Radiology, Division of Interventional Radiology, and Department of Radiology at Nemours Children’s Health in Orlando, Florida.

Dr. Craig M. Johnson is the Medical Director of Interventional Radiology at Nemours Children’s Health in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Johnson completed his Osteopathic Physician training at Des Moines University/College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2003. He went on to complete his transitional Internship at the University Hospitals Richmond Medical Center in 2004, his residency for Diagnostic Radiology at Aultman Hospital in 2008, and he completed his Fellowships at Ped Interventional Radiology – Children’s Hospital Boston, 2009 and Pediatric Radiology – Children’s Hospital Boston, 2009. He is board certified with the American Board of Radiology/Diagnostic Radiology and American Board of Radiology/Pediatric Radiology.

Dr. Johnson’s areas of expertise include CLOVES Syndrome, Interventional Radiology, Intestine Failure, Short Bowel Syndrome, Vascular Malformations, and Venous Anomalies. He is passionate about innovation, particularly within his specialty – pediatric interventional radiology – which provides new and better therapies for kids. He is also passionate about ensuring that the disadvantaged pediatric population has the opportunity to receive the best possible healthcare as everyone else.

Kim M. Keppler-Noreuil, MD

  • Professor of Pediatrics 
  • Division Chief of Pediatric Genetics & Metabolism
  • Director of Genetics & Metabolism, Waisman Center
  • University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics

Kim Keppler-Noreuil, MD joined the Division of Genetics and Metabolism, Rare Disease Institute at Children’s National Medical Center as Professor of Pediatrics in November 2018 after her tenure at the National Human Genome Research Institute/National Institutes of Health as Clinician Associate Investigator from 2012-2018. Dr. Keppler-Noreuil completed her pediatric residency at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, University of Arkansas for Medical Science, and her fellowship in Medical Genetics in the Department of Pediatrics, University of Alabama. She was on faculty as Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Medical Genetics at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, Clinical Director of the Iowa Registry of Inherited and Congenital Defects, and Program Director of the Medical Genetics Residency Training Program up to 2012. She also served as Co-Director of the Medical Genetics Course for the first-year medical students. She has been actively involved in patient care, teaching and clinical research during her career.

Dr. Keppler-Noreuil’s clinical and research interests have included clinical delineation of multiple malformation syndromes, and studies of epidemiology and pathogenesis of birth defects, inherited and chromosomal disorders. As the Clinical Director of Birth Defects, Iowa Registry for Congenital & Inherited Disorders (IRCID) from 1997-2012, she oversaw cases ascertained by the IRCID, and as Co-Investigator contributed to the development of case classification guidelines for the National Birth Defect Prevention Study (NBDPS), a multicenter study of genetic and environmental risk factor of over 30 major birth defects, as well as being the reviewer /classifier for NBDPS cases. Her recent research involving the Centers for Birth Defects Research and Prevention (CBDRP) data have been descriptive and genetics studies of cloacal exstrophy, Dandy-Walker malformation and hydrocephalus.

More recently, Dr. Keppler-Noreuil has led studies of clinical characterization, genetic studies, and therapeutic interventions, namely clinical drug treatment trials for somatic overgrowth and vascular malformation disorders, including Proteus syndrome and PIK3CA-related overgrowth spectrum (PROS). She and her colleagues at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) completed a Phase 0/1 clinical drug treatment trial with an AKT1 inhibitor for Proteus syndrome, Pharmacodynamic study of Miransertib in individuals with Proteus Syndrome in the American Journal of Human Genetics in 2019. In addition, with colleagues from NHGRI, Cambridge University and University of Dijon, they completed and published results of an open-label drug treatment trial for PROS, including patients with CLOVES syndrome: Safety and efficacy of low-dose sirolimus in the PIK3CA-related overgrowth spectrum in Genetics in Medicine in 2019. Her published studies of PROS and Proteus syndrome comprise descriptive analyses of craniofacial abnormalities, cardiac, risk factors for thromboembolism, and prevalence and complications of vascular malformations and tumors.

Ralitsa Madsen, PhD

  • Sir Henry Wellcome Fellow
  • UCL Cancer Institute, UK

Ralitsa obtained her undergraduate degree (BSc) in Molecular Biomedicine from the University of Copenhagen (2010-2013), after which I moved to Cambridge, UK to complete an MPhil in Medical Science, under the supervision of Prof Susan Ozanne and Prof Kenneth Siddle at the Metabolic Research Laboratories – Institute of Metabolic Science (Wellcome Trust-MRC). My MPhil research focused on the contribution of microRNAs to the development of insulin resistance as a result of a suboptimal nutritional environment in utero. 

She subsequently completed a four-year Wellcome Trust PhD Programme in Metabolic and Cardiovascular Disease (2014-2018), with an initial MRes year. During my PhD with Prof Robert Semple, I engineered the first human induced pluripotent stem cell models with endogenous expression of either one or two copies of the cancer-associated PIK3CA-H1047R variant. The initial aim was to study the potential mechanisms whereby this mutation causes rare, developmental overgrowth disorders known as PIK3CA-related overgrowth spectrum (PROS). In the course of this work, we discovered allele dose-dependent effects of genetic PI3Ka activation, suggesting that there are quantitative PI3K signalling thresholds that may determine the pathophysiological consequences of PIK3CA mutations in human diseases, most notably cancer. 

After a short postdoc in the Semple Lab upon its move to the University of Edinburgh (2018-2019), she joined the laboratory of Prof Bart Vanhaesebroeck at University College London. From 2019-2020, I worked on developing highly robust, cell-based quantitative assays for studies of small molecule-mediated PIK3CA activation. In a separate project, I also used computational approaches to identify evidence for dose-dependent PI3K signalling activation in human breast cancers with one or multiple copies of activating PIK3CA mutations.  

In December 2020, she was awarded a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship to study the systems biology of PI3K-dependent phenotypic plasticity, with primary basis at UCL Cancer Institute and the CellSig laboratory of Prof Bart Vanhaesebroeck. I developed novel cellular systems for quantitative, single-cell PI3K signalling studies and applied them to studies of growth factor-specific PI3K signalling fingerprints in different genetic contexts. During this time, she also benefited from a collaboration with Prof Alex Toker at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in which we focused on the discovery of novel aspects of AKT biology through a multiomic characterisation of a second-generation AKT degrader.

In May 2023, she transferred her fellowship to the MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit, University of Dundee, to continue her research as an Independent Investigator.

Outside the lab, she is involved in national and international efforts to promote Open Research. On 1 May 2022, She was appointed to serve on the inaugural UK Committee on Research Integrity (https://ukcori.org/our-people/) for an initial term of 3 years, representing the voice of early career researchers in efforts to champion research integrity and a positive research culture across the UK.

Julie C. Sapp, Sc.M., C.G.C.

  • Genetic Counselor
  • Clinical Genomics Section
  • National Institutes of Health

Julie Sapp works as part of a multi-disciplinary research team where she draws upon her genetic counseling training and over a decade of behavioral science research experience to promote the integration of genomics into medical practice. The diverse clinical research portfolio of the laboratory she works in and her role as primary clinician working directly with research participants has positioned her to investigate a varied set of important social and behavioral questions related to the practice of clinical genomics and genetic counseling. Her work in this area has included qualitative and quantitative investigations of social and behavioral constructs such as the psychosocial impact of genetic disease, patient attitudes and beliefs, decision-making, research ethics, and informed consent. More recently, she has extended her early work to include applying these approaches to understand how best to meet the clinical demands of the expanding role of genome and exome sequencing and how to maximize the utility of genomic findings for both patients and practitioners. Her research focus in these efforts is to investigate the clinical utility of genomic techniques to develop best practices for the return of results and inform future studies of the expanding role of genomics.


Family Advisory Council Members

 

Lauren Beauregard

Lauren lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two kiddos, and a very feisty cat named Calliope. She became involved with CLOVES Syndrome Community shortly after the birth of her daughter, Kiki, in 2015. Lauren is the author of Four Leaf Clovers, a book about life with differences for young children written in collaboration with CLOVES Syndrome Community. When she’s not busy with mom life, she publishes adult fiction under the name Elle Beauregard.

Robynn Kuhns

Robynn lives in Colorado with her husband and daughter Ellena, who was born with CLOVES in 2007.  She is a stay at home mom who has been fundraising yearly for CLOVES, with Ellena, and their Loaves for CLOVES event.  The CLOVES Syndrome Community has been a great place for them to funnel their interest in helping others with CLOVES.

Jennifer Padilla

Jenny Padilla is currently a NICU nurse. Her son Victor is almost 9 years old. She was able to attend the conference in Boston, when Victor was just 6 months old and was amazed to meet other children, teens and adults with CLOVES. Jenny quickly realized that she could help support the organization through fundraising and by raising awareness. Jenny has organized many small and large fundraisers and has been a great resource for other families who want to participate that way.  Jenny says that her family has used CLOVES Community at times when they needed emotional support or help navigating life with a sick child. Jenny says that she couldn’t imagine life without this wonderful community, and their support towards all involved. This is the primary reason she has chosen to join the Family Advisory Council.

Kai Rehder

Kai was diagnosed at birth with Klippel Trenaunay Syndrome, and has since had physicians suggest an updated diagnosis of CLOVES Syndrome. After attending several KTS and CLOVES Syndrome community meetings, he realized how important connecting with the community is for learning how to advocate for his own health. He hopes to use his background in biotech as well as his own experiences in managing his own mental and physical health to help others in the community navigate the challenges of CLOVES Syndrome. In his spare time, you can find Kai exploring the foodie scene or playing disabled hockey with the Seattle Kraken Sled Hockey team. Kai lives in the Seattle area with his cat, Triscuit.

Lindsay Weslow

Lindsay was diagnosed with CLOVES Syndrome around age 14 and has been involved with CLOVES Syndrome Community ever since. She works as a transplant social worker in Pittsburgh, PA. Lindsay is dedicated to spreading awareness about CLOVES and advocating for this syndrome and for those affected.  She is dedicated to making connections with other patients and families and values the relationships made within CLOVES Syndrome Community.

Lindsey Johnson Edwards

Lindsey Johnson Edwards is a PhD student at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Lindsey was diagnosed with Klippel Trenaunay Syndrome at birth before she was re-diagnosed with CLOVES Syndrome as a teenager. Because of her life with CLOVES Syndrome, Lindsey has an interest in researching suffering, disability, and human flourishing. Her dissertation will focus on “quality of life” care and ethics. What fuels her research is her desire to improve the “quality of life” of CLOVES patients’ specifically and rare disease patients broadly. Because of this desire, Lindsey also volunteers at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, works with research and support groups in the rare disease community, and participates in legislative advocacy for the rare disease community.

Learn more about the Family Advisory Council here.


Rare as One Network

 

We’re part of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Rare As One Network — a group of 50 patient-led organizations that are accelerating research and driving progress in the fight against rare diseases.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Rare As One Project aims to strengthen the efforts of patient-led groups. It will help communities of patients, researchers, and clinicians work together to advance progress against their diseases and scale these efforts. Working in partnership with the rare disease community, the Rare As One Project will create shared infrastructure to lower the barriers to patient-led research and enable patient communities to learn from one another.  No one is more motivated than patients to drive progress against their disease. 

The CLOVES Syndrome Community profile and the profiles of the other 49 patient-led organizations can be found here

Our goal with this grant is to create a patient-led research network with the aim to accelerate research and find treatment options for people with CLOVES and PIK3CA Related Conditions. You can follow our progress and sign up to receive updates here


 

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“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead