Our People




EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR



KATHRYN BLAIN

Kathryn is the Mother of two children, Stepmother of three children and Grandmother of six children. After leaving a career as a financial planner, she became involved in the interior design business. She decided to expand upon this career and opened a furniture store in 2001, along with her husband Don who was a retired Platoon Chief from the Kitchener Fire Department. In addition to that she is a residential contractor, dealing with a wide range of projects from basements, kitchens, bathrooms and total renovation of entire houses, taking them, from creating the design concept to implementation, hiring and supervising the trades and seeing each project through to completion.

Her proudest accomplishment has been being a Mother, a role that, for her, embodied the essence of her being. In 1995 she was shaken to the core of her existence in the sudden death of her son Michael Longo age 19 from Meningococcal Septicemia. The loss of Michael in her life channels so much of how she lives her life and what energy she puts into the various aspects of her life. As a symbol of her love for him and who he was as a person, Kathryn is the Founder and Past Chair of Meningitis Foundation Canada and currently serves in the role of Executive Director. It is her desire that people learn from her experience and it is her hope that no family needs to suffer the pain of losing a family member to vaccine preventable meningitis. It is also her prayer that in her lifetime she will see an end to this insidious disease.  Kathryn is also a member of the Founding and Steering Committee of CoMO (Confederation of Meningitis Organisations).

                                       BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

MELISSA CACCAMO
Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator

Melissa has always lived a life living with horses. Her career began by helping horses troubled by injuries and expanded by becoming an Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator, to help people heal from personal pain through unique interactions with horses. Her business, Equi-SMART, brought her across Ontario and Canada until to the age of 24, when Melissa was finally diagnosed with viral meningitis. Now Melissa helps guide other survivors of meningitis through the challenging aftermath of the illness and is an advocate for maintaining a resilient and determined attitude through the greatest of challenges meningitis can present.


MARY CLOUGH

Mary and her husband moved to Muskoka 25 years ago, raising their two girls in a wonderful environment. Being self-employed for many years allowed Mary the time to enjoy and nurture her children. On February 26, 2005, life changed forever in Mary’s family with the loss of her eldest daughter Macey (MacKenzie) at the tender age of 19, to Meningococcal Septicemia. Macey was in her first year at Fleming College in Peterborough working towards becoming a primary grade teacher. Since her daughter’s death, Mary has been very involved in raising awareness of meningitis, with hopes that no parent has to go through the pain of losing a child to this horrible, now vaccine-preventable disease. Mary has been a volunteer with Hospice Muskoka for 13 years working with children and adults who have experienced loss.


DR. JOANNE LANGLEY

Dr. Langley is a pediatric infectious disease physician in the Department of Pediatrics at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and is cross-appointed in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology in the Faculty of Medicine. She is based at the IWK Health Centre and the Canadian Center for Vaccinology. She conducts studies on the prevention of infectious diseases using vaccines, from phase 1 (first in humans) through to efficacy trials (phase 3) and post-marketing studies of how well vaccines work when they are used in immunization programs (phase 4). These studies are done with collaborators in public health, industry, universities, and non-governmental organizations.

Dr. Langley has a particular interest in prevention of respiratory infections such as Respiratory Syncytial Virus and influenza. Her work also focuses on vaccine policy and evidence-based decision making in immunization programs. She is a member of the COVID-19 Science Expert Panel, and of the Expert Group on Health Systems of the Chief Science Advisor of Canada, and a former member of the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care and Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (Chair, 2007-2011), and serves as an advisor on several immunization decision making expert groups. She is an active investigator in the Canadian Immunization Research Network and leads its Clinical Trials Network (CTN).

Melissa Lehmann
MELISSA (LONGO) LEHMANN

Melissa lives in Waterloo with her husband Ben and their two children Emma and Matthew. Melissa’s career has been in the finance field but her primary focus in life has been as the mother of her two children. Melissa is the sister of Michael Longo, whose life has been honored in the founding of the Meningitis Foundation Canada. She brings to the board a first-hand understanding of what meningitis is and how families can be affected.





MRFC Technical Advisor, Karen Mayfield
KAREN MAYFIELD

Vice President, Shareholder (CRA),
Managing Director and Treasurer of eSolutions Group - Karen Mayfield, C. Tech., MCSE
Managing Director of Conestoga-Rovers & Associates' (CRA) eSolutions Group, Karen Mayfield has 15 years of experience in networking and project management and is responsible for many projects, including overseeing eSolutions' development of new technologies and the delivery of services to their clients. Karen has overseen many software development projects including environmental compliance software, website management tools, and e-learning tools. Her diverse role involves network infrastructure, graphics, website design, programming, and Internet services.

Karen is a Civil Technologist (C.Tech.), Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) and in addition to her long career in information technology, she is a member of the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT) and has judged for the Economic Developers Council of Ontario's Ontario Marketing Awards. Karen serves as Co-Chair and technical advisor for Meningitis Foundation Canada. She has also served with CoMO as a technical  advisor and as a member of the Conestoga College's Play The Classic and the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo's Business Excellence Awards committees.

Shannon O'Neil
SHANNON O'NEILL

Family Navigator, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
Owner - Creative Resolutions Centre - Family Mediator
As a family mediator and a family mental health navigator, Shannon understands the impact of trauma, conflict, disease, mental health, and loss on family systems. Family members do not exist in isolation. If one member is struggling the family as a whole struggles. Providing support to the family during these times is a necessary component for recovery. This support includes skills and tools, but, more importantly, from someone who has the Lived Experience (TLE). Shannon is a mother, supports a family member who struggles with their mental health, and has lost a loved one to meningitis. Through these experiences Shannon has learned that recovery is not linear and empathy, compassion, and connection are what all human beings need.

MICHAEL G. REDFEARN

Coordinator, Ontario Catholic e-Learning Consortium
A father of five children, former high school teacher, K-12 technology coordinator and e-learning Contact - Michael is one of the founding directors of Meningitis Foundation Canada. He serves as MFC board Co-Chair,  secretary and social media manager. Michael coordinated the annual Michael Longo Classic Golf Tournament (2000-2005) and in 2013 started the World Meningitis Day CN Tower EdgeWalk fundraiser. Involved since the inception of the MFC in 1998, he was approached by Kathryn Blain to join the organization, as he was Michael Longo's teacher at St. David Catholic secondary school in Waterloo before his death. Michael also serves as a director on the CoMO Americas Region board of directors.

Phone or Fax - (519) 664-0244
or Toll-free 1-800-643-1303
E-mail - fund@meningitis.ca
Disclaimer
P.O. Box 28015 R.P.O. Parkdale
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8
Charitable Registration # 89751 8429 RR0001
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