Board of Directors
Co-Presidents: Sarah A Shaffer and Marc A Shaffer
We are the parents of Reilly & Mason Shaffer. We are your average family of four. We are parents of a son cured of Osteopetrosis through a stem cell transplant and a son who was an extremely strong older brother throughout the entire transplant journey. We are extremely fortunate to have two wonderfully unique boys. We have been inspired by how our children persevered through a truly unimaginable experience. We believe there was a reason our family was presented with this unthinkable situation. We were meant to do something good with it. We will make a difference in other people’s lives. That is our goal.Marc has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bucknell University and a MBA from The Pennsylvania State University. Sarah has a Bachelor of Social Work from Southern Connecticut University and a Masters in Social Work from The University of Pennsylvania.
Chief Medical Consultant: Dr. E. Anders Kolb
When I first met Mason, or really Mason’s blood smear, it was about 5am. A colleague had called me to look at the peripheral blood smear of a new patient admitted to the hospital late the night before to evaluate for the possibility of leukemia. Mason had an increase in the number of blasts (immature white blood cells) in his blood. However, Mason’s blood did not look like he had leukemia, it looked like he had normal bone marrow that overflowed into his blood. A chest x ray done on admission showed very dense bones for a 5 1/2 month-old and I was fairly certain that Mason did not have leukemia. I was fairly convinced he had Osteopetrosis. So the first time I met Sarah and Marc Shaffer, I had to tell them that what Mason had was not a cancer of the blood, it was potentially far worse. Through genetic testing we confirmed that Mason did indeed have Osteopetrosis. Within a couple weeks we identified a matched cord blood unit and shortly thereafter Mason underwent a bone marrow transplantation. Through every step of this process Marc, Sarah and Mason always looked forward towards a cure. They fought hard to keep Mason healthy, and thanks to the National Marrow Donor Programand an anonymous cord blood donor, Mason is cured.Dr. Kolb is the Director of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Department of Pediatrics at Alfred I DuPont Hospital for Children. He received his medical training from Jefferson Medical College and his Intern/Residency combined at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. Dr. Kolb’s Fellowship program was in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Kolb also holds an American Board of Pediatrics sub-specialty certificate in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology.
Pediatric Medical Consultant: Louis Giangiulio M.D., FAAP
Dr. Giangiulio is Mason’s pediatrician and the founder of Sugartown Pediatrics, LLC, a private solo medical practice with offices in Malvern and Newtown Square, PA. He serves as the school physician at The Phelps School in Malvern, PA and is the medical consultant for the entire Penn-Delco School District. He began his medical career as an Army pediatrician, including a deployment to Afghanistan in 2003-04 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Dr. Giangiulio completed his internship and residency in pediatrics in Washington DC at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethseda, MD. He was stationed for three years at the US Military Academy at West Point, NY as a general pediatrician where he also consulted as the wrestling team physician.He is credentialed as a staff pediatrician at Main Line Health and continues to attend to newborns at Paoli, Bryn Mawr and Lankenau Hospitals as well as The Birth Center in Bryn Mawr, PA.
Treasurer: Robert Brooks
Hob Brooks works as Director of Business Development for Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading international medical publisher. Wolters Kluwer brands include OVID and Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, two of the most recognizable brands in medical research. He focuses on identifying, developing and acquiring the most influential, high quality and globally produced content across all medical specialties for inclusion in OVID. His role focuses on making sure that OVID offers users a comprehensive collection of top quality global research so that doctors and medical researchers always have access to the literature they need to conduct their research and advance science. Hob has been interested in working with a non profit organization for several years as a way to apply his knowledge of the scholarly research community to give back and help to make a difference. After meeting the Shaffers, and particularly after watching Mason’s miraculous recovery, Mason’s Mission became the obvious choice. Hob holds a B.A. in History from Bates College and a M.A. in Education from Tufts University.
Secretary: Geoffrey Shaffer
When my wife, Deb, and I found out about Mason’s diagnosis, instinctively we wanted to know what we could do to help. We then soon learned that Mason would need a stem cell transplant, and other than a small chance of his brother being an exact match, those cells would come from a cord blood donation. That is where we saw our chance. Deb and I would be welcoming our first child in the fall, and immediately started researching cord blood donation information. What we found when we tried to donate cord blood for Mason, or anybody in need, was a cycle of phone calls with no real answers. The hospital didn’t know how to direct us, and other conversations told us to talk with the hospital. It was in essence a “wild goose chase.” From this experience, I realized that cord blood donation is a need that is not easily accessible for those who would like to do it. The promotion and education of the cord blood donation process is just one of the many goals I hope to accomplish as part of the Mason Shaffer Foundation.
International Relations: Maria Coello Albornoz
Maria’s son, Joaquin, was diagnosed with MIOP in the summer of 2010 at 2 months old in Ecuador. Maria worked diligently to find Joaquin treatment in the United States as the only cure for MIOP, a Bone Marrow or Cord Blood Transplant, was not available to them in Ecuador. Through Maria’s efforts, Joaquin was admitted to AI DuPont Hospital to be transplanted by Dr. Andy Kolb. Joaquin was transplanted on October 13, 2010 in the SAME room as Mason was exactly 1 year before. We connected when they arrived here in the US and are connected forever more. Maria works with families in South American countries, not only with MIOP, but patients in need of a Stem Cell Transplant that is unavailable to them in their respective country. Maria coordinates with US hospitals, various Hispanic Foundations (such as Icla di Silva), as well as the Ecuadorian Government to try to obtain services and funding for these patients and their families. We are thrilled to have her as such a wonderful addition to our Foundation.