Lynette Apodaca

Co-Founder

Marc’s Mom, Executive Director

Marc Jr Foundation

Denver, CO

After the death of her oldest child to a DIPG, Lynette quickly realized how little help was available in the form of treatment, information and support for the families facing this type of deadly cancer. Today, the Marc Jr Foundation generated funds through fundraising to invest in educational and financial support for families facing a DIPG diagnosis.

Marc Apodaca

Co-Founder

Marc’s Dad, President

Marc Jr Foundation

Denver, CO

Marc was not only my son, but my best friend. Throughout the duration of Marc’s sickness he never gave up. He never complained once and was all about courage. He displayed an awesome amount of determination and will. He loved life to the fullest. In this we are so very proud of him. Marc is our family’s inspiration to live on. We loved to care for Marc, to watch him laugh and to have fun. We thank God each day for having allowed Marc to be a part of our lives.

Pete Walsdorf

Founding Board Member

Pete’s son, Sam, passed away from a DIPG just like Marc Jr. He was almost six years old, in kindergarten, with his whole life ahead of him. The shock was numbing as doctors told his parents of his diagnosis of an incurable brain tumor, and he would not likely live another year. Pediatric brain tumors are rare, and a DIPG tumor makes up only about 10% of those. With little progress in research and cures, the Marc Jr Foundation is proud to help stricken families in any way they can.

Anita Kilbey

Founding Board Member

Anita currently holds the position of Accounting Manager at an Oil & Gas firm and has been with the company for 28 years. Anita felt helpless after the loss of her cousin Marc Jr to a DIPG. Volunteering for the foundation’s accountant was an easy decision. No parent should ever have to experience the loss of a child and Anita admires their courage. Anita does not know if there will be a cure for cancer in her lifetime, but Anita hopes the grants from the foundation will help the financial burden of families in need.

Joseph Medina

Founding Board Member

Joseph Medina is a founding member on the Board of the Marc Jr. Foundation. Joseph assists the Foundation as their Treasurer and brings over 40 years of corporate middle management experience to the Marc Jr. Foundation. He has a B.S. in Business Administration Management from Regis University. Joseph was awarded membership in the “Who’s Who in the World Wide Registry of Business Leaders.” He was a past President of Rotary International as well as Co-Chairman of United Way in Morgan County. His training provided the catalyst to serve as board member and president of seven different nonprofit operations during his employment years. Joseph is a trusted advisor and, volunteering for the Marc Jr. Foundation, has brought many life realities into focus along with the joy of serving others.

Marilyn Martinez

Founding Board Member

Marilyn Martinez served as an executive legal assistant for over 25 years in several Denver law firms. Her passion for volunteering began at an early age. By the age of 12, she became a volunteer for the Dominican Sisters of the Sick Poor. When her children were young, Marilyn served for five years as president of the nonprofit Our Lady of Guadalupe Mestizo Dancers (a dance group of 125 children). More recently, she also volunteered at Mother Teresa’s Hospice for AIDS patients and currently shares her gift of time with her parish of St. Bernadette Catholic Church. Marilyn is passionate about all children and their well-being. She is the mother to 4 adult children, 11 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. Today, Marilyn is retired from her legal career and is a valuable, trusted, founding member, secretary and advisor to the Marc Jr. Foundation. This position has allowed her volunteerism to thrive. For Marilyn, assisting others is at her core and, because of that, being part of the Marc Jr. Foundation gives her great joy.

Mary Coven

Founding Board Member

As a family friend it was hard to watch Marc Jr and the family battle this horrible disease. It is Mary’s mission to help support the Foundation with her experience in grant writing and volunteering. As a board member Mary helps to oversee the grant process and proposals and to locate alternative forms of funding.

Alfonso Barela

Founding Board Member

Alfonso Barela is an Electrical Design Engineer, at Ball Aerospace for space systems and products. As an electrical design engineer he works on commercial and government (NASA) satellites and spacecraft that include space telescopes, space bound imaging systems and weather satellites.   Alfonso’s educational background is a B.S. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Colorado and an Associate Degree in Electronics Technology from Front Range Community College. Alfonso is a member of the Marc Jr Foundation Board of Directors.   Marc Jr was his cousin and during Little Marc’s illness realized the pain a family endures during unforeseen circumstances from this illness. Alfonso decided to volunteer his time and joined the Foundation to support of his cousin and other DIPG patients and families.

Charlene Barela

Founding Board Member

Charlene is a Colorado native who enjoys staying active and being outdoors. She has three grown children and has worked for various corporations over the last 21 years. In addition to helping children diagnosed with DIPG she also volunteers at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. She believes staying positive and caring for one another makes a world of difference to those in need. Having faith in God is the answer to all problems.

Vera Wennogle

Board Member

Vera Wennogle joined the Marc Jr. Foundation as a member of the board in January of 2015. Vera lost her four year old daughter Veronica to DIPG in July of 2006. Through the diagnosis and in the aftermath of Veronica’s passing, Vera, a former Army nurse, realized how little guidance and support exists for families suffering with a DIPG diagnosis. The Marc Jr Foundation gives Vera and her family a special opportunity to honor Veronica in assisting others with DIPG. Vera lives in Castle Rock, CO with her husband and three sons.

Krista McKissack

Board Member

Krista McKissack met Lynette at New Mexico State University in 1990 and they have been friends since. Over the years their families have spent many holidays together. The Apodaca family is an extension of the McKissack family. When Marc became ill Krista could not believe the strength this family has. Their faith, love, support and strength inspires others every day. DIPG is an incurable cancer that attacked this family. Krista was honored to become a Board member Marc Jr lives on through this foundation and it is Krista’s hope that one day there will be a cure.

Loretta Howard

Board Member

Loretta Howard is a Legal Secretary at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLC. Lynette and Loretta were co-workers when her son, Marc Jr., was first diagnosed with the dreaded DIPG. Little Marc was a very special young man and touched many lives. Loretta has observed the Foundation from the beginning and is amazed at the number of families who have received financial assistance and support and very important information about this disease. Loretta believes this Foundation has brought a needed awareness to this terrible childhood cancer and feels it is an honor and a privilege to be able to volunteer for this very worthy organization.

Erica Shields

Research Advisor

Erica Shields, MPH, Ph.D. is a certified personal trainer, weight-loss and fitness nutrition specialist, NSL master bikini pro fitness competitor and coach, pageant coach, reigning Mrs. Colorado America 2016, and public health professional with over 30 years of experience working as a public health educator in local and state health departments, schools, communities, and universities.

Erica currently works as a corporate fitness advisor and volunteers as a research advisor for the Marc Jr. Foundation, actively pursuing funding and research opportunities to help fight DIPG and other pediatric brain cancers.

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Marc Jr. Foundation PO Box 33042 Northglenn, CO 80233