President - Jackie Gomez-Whiteley, Chief of Police, Cypress Police Department"
When my husband, Orange Police Lt. John Whiteley (Ret.), was diagnosed with leukemia in 2000, we learned that he and other law enforcement officers were in desperate need of a life-saving match. The combined efforts of many public safety agencies worked together to raise awareness about the need to increase the Registry by hosting marrow donor drives throughout the law enforcement community. An opportunity was born out of a challenge that has resulted in many lives being saved and a number of heroes being honored for their efforts, which personifies the nobility of law enforcement."
Vice-President - Clayton Brewer Officer, California Highway Patrol
A cherished and proud achievement of Clayton's is the establishment of on-going marrow drives held at the CHP Academy, which were also inspired by a six-month old child named Trevor Kott. Trevor's parents pleaded to the community via a local news network for the public’s help in locating a life-saving match for a bone marrow transplant, it was Trevor's only chance. Unfortunately, Trevor succumbed to his disease in April of 2007. In 2008, Clayton, with Officers Give Hope, worked with CHP’s Top Management to establish the “Trevor's Legacy Continues” (TLC). TLC and OGH provides support by registering CHP cadets who volunteer as potential donors in the "Be The Match Program." Clayton joined Officers Give Hope “To help the thousands of people who are searching for their match everyday.”
Treasurer - Steve Booze , Detective, Orange Police Department (Retired)
As the President of the Police Association, Steve coordinated the first drives for what would someday become Officers Give Hope. He was instrumental in bringing several other agencies into OGH and now oversees the finances of the organization. As the charter member, Steve said that "Officers Give Hope provides him the chance to give back."
Secretary & Drive Coordinator - Cathy Stark, Director, Medical Staff Services, St. Mary Medical Center (Retired)
Cathy is a charter member of OGH. As the OGH drive coordinator, she works closely with the onsite coordinators whom she calls the inside champions to a successful drive. She says that after meeting several donors and grateful recipients she is more committed than ever to continue the OGH mission "Saving Lives through Marrow Drives." She adds "our donors are our hero’s."
Board Member - Corporal Nick Johnson, LaPalma P.D.
As a new police officer and newly diagnosed Cancer patient in 2006, Nick heard about Officers Give Hope through other police officers in Orange County. He looked to their organization for support and saw the work they were doing as a great cause. Nick has helped OGH in numerous Donor Drives throughout the State of California since 2007. Nick enjoys sharing his story and educating the law enforcement community of the importance and need for our Donor Drives. Nick is officially 8 years Cancer Free and is our newest Board Member of OGH.
Board Member- Rich Lucero - Chief, Fremont Police Department
Richard Lucero has served with the Fremont Police Department since 1987. He is a graduate of Santa Clara University School of Law and a member of the California State Bar. He is the current president of the California Peace Officers’ Association. Rich is grateful for the opportunity to participate as a volunteer with Officers Give Hope and be part of such a meaningful initiative.
Honorary Member - Dr. Larry Stark
Dr. Stark is an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and Chief Dental Officer (Retired) of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the State of California for his efforts with OGH.
A charter member of OGH, Dr. Stark explains that "in 2000 we began sponsoring marrow drives to increase the chances for my son-in-law to find a life-saving match. We never imagined that this effort would continue today across the State of California." Dr. Stark believes OGH must continue to register donors because when donors match - lives can be saved.
Honorary Member and Past President - Lt. John Whiteley , Orange Police Department (retired)
In March 2000 John Whiteley was diagnosed with multiple types of leukemia. He is a charter member of Officers Give Hope. He has been on the Board of Directors for the Be The Match for several years. John is dedicated to enrolling public safety personnel into the Be The Match donor registry. He believes that public safety personnel are ideal candidates for being marrow donors because they are in good physical condition, have various ethnic backgrounds and are committed to public service.
Honorary Member - Dr. Leonard Sender
Dr. Leonard Sender is currently Director of the Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Programs at CHOC Children’s Hospital and at UC Irvine Medical Center’s Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Sender’s clinical interests lie in the treatment of AYAs with cancer. He strives to also address his patient’s “ancillary” needs including preservation of fertility, management of acute and chronic effects of treatment, and being sensitive to the psychosocial impact that a cancer diagnosis imparts to those just at the beginning of their “productive years.” To that end, he has established collaborative relationships both inside and outside his institutions to ensure a truly comprehensive approach towards patient care and subsequent survivorship. Dr. Sender has been an ardent supporter of OGH since its inception.
Partner - Liz Ustick
“I began this journey by working with a family and a young man, who had leukemia and was searching for a marrow donor. I realized that while most people know about donating blood they do not know about marrow. This young father lost his battle because he never found a match. It made me realize that I needed to educate the public about the need for a diverse registry of people willing to make the commitment to save a life. It has been an honor to work with so many amazing families that inspire me to continue this mission.” For the last three years, Liz has been recognized by Be The Match as the top recruiter in the United States. She also works closely with Blood Source.