Vakkas Successful Stories

Ronald Johnson

Testicular Cancer

Board Members

  • Peride K. Blind

    Peride (Peri) is an internationally published author, consultant and advisor in governance and international development. While pursuing her graduate studies at Georgetown University, the phone rang one day and her family gave her the sour news that changed her life forever: her daddy had multiple myeloma. From 2003 to 2006, accompanying her father in his treatment in different countries and in several hospitals, Peri and her family went through a process of pain, hardship and uncertainty but also joy, love and self-discovery. Later joining the United Nations, Peri became aware of the importance of connectivity and transparency toward developmental goals. She founded VAKKAS NETWORK for International Patients in 2010, and incorporated VAKKAS-a New Jersey Non-profit in 2013, to the memory of her beloved father, Seydi Vakkas. Peri says: “Cancer patients should never worry about how to pay for their treatment. They should only concentrate on fighting the cancer beast!”

  • Charles D. Ruttan

    Charles is a Martindale AV rated lawyer admitted to the bar in Oregon, Texas and New York. He has been involved in a variety of charitable organizations since the late 1970s, all helping children in various ways: founding board member of Friends of the Children NY, initial board member of Friends of the Children Portland Oregon; member of the Selection Committee for the Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship at Waverley Country Club, and a member of TGIGolf. Charles has experienced close family members dealing with the agonies and financial hardships of being cancer patients. When contacted by Peri, and informed of the history and mission of VAKKAS, he offered his assistance in any way helpful to the financially disadvantaged cancer patients with their hospital treatment costs.

  • Yesim Erdemli

    Yesim is an early childhood educator specializing in autism. While Yesim was teaching in her classroom one day, she received the dreaded news from George Washington University Hospital that her mother had endrometrial cancer. After two major surgeries, weeks of therapies, and many days in the hospital, all there could be done was to keep praying. Just when her mother was feeling better, they found out recently that her father has bladder cancer. Yesim is a staunch believer in the cause of VAKKAS, and is convinced that knowing that there is financial support can allow cancer patients to let the hope in, and unnecessary worries out, of their hearts.

  • Karen Le Morvan

    Karen Le Morvan is a marketing and strategic planning consultant who has worked extensively in the fields of education and nonprofit management. She has worked for two different national organizations that were started by dynamic women who saw a need and successfully mobilized their friends, colleagues, and neighbors (locally and across the country) to meet that need. Now she is proud to join another such visionary, Peri Blind, in her work on VAKKAS. Several of Karen’s family and friends have battled cancer; while some have won that battle and some have lost (or are still fighting). Karen believes that they and all who are fighting for their lives deserve our support and assistance.

  • Florence Brellier

    Florence is a biomedical scientist and expert in cancer research and pharmaceutical drug exploration and discovery. She has seen several close family members suffer from various cancers and has decided to do more than just her professional commitment to help cancer patients. Having met Peri in 2012, she was amazed to discover what VAKKAS could bring to patients and has provided her full support. Florence says: “There is no ‘one-fits-all’ treatment for cancer. The scientific community now aims at finding personalized solutions since each person is unique. However, this approach will become a real breakthrough only if it benefits all.”

  • Catherine Vernade

    Catherine worked for several years as a Clinical Research Associate in the pharmaceutical industry to then become a Reflexologist. Currently, she is following this natural health path, learning Aromatherapy, Reiki, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and working on her long-life time journey through yoga--B.K.S Iyengar style, vinyasa and power yoga. Despite her brother’s cancer being delayed with chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery (he was able to live 12 years more), Catherine is convinced that most health issues are not effectively tackled at their roots by conventional methods. By joining VAKKAS, Catherine is dedicated to increasing knowledge, raising awareness on the importance of the psycho-social dimension of treatments, and to offering several and alternative paths to healing.