Chordoma Foundation

Community Advisory Board

Our Community Advisory Board (CAB) is comprised of dedicated patients, volunteers, and advocates. The CAB advises the Foundation’s staff and Board of Directors on a range of programmatic and operational matters, ensuring that everything we do – from patient services to research to marketing – supports patients and their families in the best possible way.


Heather Lee, PhD – Chair

A founding Board member of the Foundation and past Board chair, Heather has made an indelible mark on the Foundation. In particular, during her time on the Board, Heather was a staunch advocate for serving the needs of the chordoma patient community, and, among other things, she spearheaded our Community Conference series, Peer Support Program, and the formation of the Community Advisory Board. Heather and her family became involved with the Foundation during her son, Justin Straus’, six-year battle with chordoma. A certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), Heather is a principal at Developmental Associates, LLC a North Carolina-based human resources consultancy.


Edward Les, MD – Medical Liaison

Ed is a pediatric emergency medicine physician in Alberta, Canada and a clival chordoma survivor. A former CF Board member, Ed serves as the CAB’s Medical Liaison, acting as a link between our Medical Advisory Board (MAB) and the CAB. In this role, Ed brings important questions, issues, and concerns of the chordoma patient community to the MAB and helps the staff relay insights and recommendations from the MAB to the patient community.


Nadine Aoun-Cordova

Nadine is a paralegal by day and a soccer mom by night. In 2010, she was diagnosed with a cervical spine chordoma and was treated with radiation at Memorial Sloan Kettering. She is committed to the Foundation and most recently volunteered at the Chordoma Community Conferences in 2013 and 2015.


Brittany Fuchs

Brittany is a graphic designer whose husband, Todd, is a chordoma patient currently living with his third recurrence. He has undergone multiple surgeries, radiation, drug therapy, and suffered a stroke. Brittany has been among the Foundation’s most dedicated volunteers, raising funds for research and helping with a variety of programs including our Doctor Directory, Community Conference, and other events. For their remarkable efforts to support the Foundation, Brittany and Todd were highlighted as one of our Featured Champions.


Susan Garbett

A retired kindergarten teacher and author, Susan wrote about her personal experience as a chordoma patient in her latest book Confronting Chordoma Cancer: An Uncommon Journey. As a Foundation Peer Guide, she is passionate about helping patients and caregivers with the day-to-day challenges they encounter.


Chris Jones

Chris is an IT Project Manager whose 18-year-old daughter was diagnosed with chordoma, and underwent both surgery and radiation treatments. He is passionate about supporting, educating, and guiding newly diagnosed patients to seek multiple opinions and ultimately receive treatment from chordoma experts. This led him to become a group moderator in a chordoma survivor support group on Facebook.

Steven Mandel

Steven Mandel works in principal investments in the global power and renewables sector, residing in London. In 2012, while Steven was recuperating from a near fatal hit and run car accident, a follow-up MRI incidentally revealed a sacral chordoma. He was treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and since recovering has made it his mission to raise funds for the Chordoma Foundation and awareness about chordoma. Over the last 3 years, his annual half marathon fundraisers have raised more than $125,000 for the Foundation. For his efforts, Steven was highlighted as one of our Featured Champions.

Jeffrey (Jeb) Nadaner, PhD

Jeb is an executive expert in expanding the sales of Fortune 500 companies and start-ups, restructuring underperforming businesses and organizations, and growing businesses through mergers and acquisitions. He is cervical chordoma survivor. He seeks to ensure that others have access to the same cutting-edge treatment options that enabled him to beat the odds.

Jeff Schilling

Jeff has been in the technology field for more than 18 years and currently works at Cisco Systems. He was diagnosed with clival chordoma in 2003, and has since had four recurrences, all treated with surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, followed by radiation at Massachusetts General Hospital. Jeff lives in Kansas, MO with his wife, Erin, and their three young daughters. He hosts an annual Golf Tournament and Bowling Event in support of the Foundation and is eager to help find a cure for chordoma by helping others with fundraising. For his efforts, Jeff was highlighted as one of our Featured Champions.

Tim Zellers

Tim is a Nurse Practitioner by background who works as an executive in a large healthcare system. His youngest daughter was diagnosed with a cervical chordoma at age 13 in 2013, and underwent both surgery and radiation treatments. In addition to his passion and commitment toward the Chordoma Foundation, he is also a board member for the Make-A-Wish® Foundation of Philadelphia, Northern Delaware & Susquehanna Valley.