HERA's board made up of 100% volunteers dedicated to what we stand for: Health, Empowerment, Research, and Awareness.
Heidi Wells, President
I was drawn to HERA by the amazing women I met when volunteering for the organization. My aunt contracted ovarian cancer so then my mission became personal. I eventually was asked to join the board and shortly after took on responsibilities as Board President. I am proud to serve this great organization which stretches us all to be our best and brightest.
I came to HERA after my cancer. Early detection literally saved my life and after realizing how rare early detection is and shocked that there was no test for ovarian cancer, I felt I needed to become involved to advocate for testing that may save others. My picture represents my first day back on the rock after surgery and signifies to me that I had recovered and was healthy and strong.
I have been a climber for over 20 years, and involved with HERA since 2012. After losing a very close friend to ovarian cancer, I committed myself to raising awareness (and funds!) in my community. Prior to becoming a Board Member, I ran the Climb4Life in Boston, where I live and play. When not climbing, hiking, camping, or birding, I manage energy conservation programs for a municipal electric utility in Braintree, MA.
My first connection to HERA started by helping on some infographic. I was more than happy to use my skills to help an organization doing such important work. I ended up joining the board some 5 years ago. I consider the work/awareness brought on by HERA very important. I have had many people in my family passing because of cancer, but did not know much about ovarian cancer. Being part of this organization has been empowering, and educated me on important our work is.
In 2018 I started rock climbing and a friend introduced me to HERA. The annual Climb4Life event was my first introduction into this world of amazing women fighting for an incredible cause. I researched more about HERA and their mission, and have volunteered every year since. Though I have not had anyone I know personally suffer from ovarian cancer, my family has been tormented by various different forms of the disease and I have always looked for a way to give back and help in this ongoing battle to save lives. I am honored to be a part of this organization, and hope that together, we can inspire others and reach more people with our mission.
Hi, I’m Jill Slansky, PhD. I run a cancer research lab at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and am the leader of the Science Committee for HERA. I too lost my mom to cancer when I was young, which inspired me to contribute to ending cancer however possible. I joined the HERA team because I agreed with Sean Patrick, HERA’s founder, that supporting out-of-the-box research will lead to ways which we can control this disease. I derive immense joy awarding talented scientists with funds to carry-out exciting new research. Thank you for joining our crusade!
I came to HERA through my friend, Lisa, who is on the board and diagnosed with this cancer several years back. I've also had family and friends diagnosed with breast cancer and seen the impact that medical research has made in the treatment of this disease over the years. When I learned more about ovarian cancer, I realized that there was a lot more to do in finding ways to detect and treat it. I’m grateful to be able to contribute to this organization of wonderful women and men that are fighting for women’s health. I wholeheartedly believe in Sean Patrick's philosophy and vision of the strength that climbing can bring to women who are overcoming various obstacles and hardships in life. Being part of Climb4Life events has been a very impactful experience.
TEAM QUEEN BEES
Team Queen Bees, led by Melissa Bernashe, has been raising money for HERA for years. Melissa started this team in 2009, following her mothers diagnosis in 2008. They have raised awareness over the last 12 years, hosting teams for Run Like A Girl foot races, hosting gala parties and auctions, donated over $5000 to HERA in 2021, and created another fundraising campaign in the Summer of 2022 with the goal of raising another $5000. Their Facebook page, Team Queen Bees, also curated by Melissa, keeps HERA in the spotlight.