Rachael was only 14 years old when she passed away. Rachael loved Elvis; she had many Christmas ornaments, blankets, pillow, everything she could find with Elvis on it, and every CD. She also loved Audrey Hepburn; Breakfast at Tiffany’s was one of her favorites. Rachael was a self-taught artist; she wanted to be a fashion designer and was already looking at schools. So when she got to do a Make-A-Wish trip she picked Paris where she got seats at the end of the cat walk for a fashion show at Lafayette. Rachael had a big heart she loved everyone. She also had a great sense of humor, she lost her hair from the chemo and radiation when she was 13 and most girls would be devastated but she would pick on those of us that had to take the time to do our hair or had to buy shampoo.
The last few years of Rachael’s life were hard; she had a craniotomy (brain surgery), laminectomy (surgery to remove tumors from spinal cord), full head and spine radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. She also had daily migraines. But still she didn’t want kids to go through what she was going through, so she started making earrings and Christmas ornaments to sell and gave the money to her doctors for their research. She never said this was for her but for other children.
I had the great pleasure of being mom to Rachael and Derrick. Even though Rachael was with us for just a short 14 years, being a mom was the best job I could have. Every day I wish that Rachael was here helping me run the foundation, but I know this is what she would want, and I know she is smiling down at the work we are doing.
I was born in Queens, New York many, MANY years ago and have traveled the world with the military. I have been serving proudly in the United States Air Force since 1995 as a Cardiopulmonary Specialist. I received my Baccalaureate and Registry in Respiratory Therapy and have worked with both adult and pediatric patients my entire career. I am currently stationed at the United States Air Force Academy performing echocardiograms, pulmonary function testing and a variety of different cardiac testing. I met Lynette and Brett a few years ago and began volunteering with the Brain Booster 5K. I never met Rachael but her story touched my heart and long conversations with Lynette brought tears to my eyes. It was an honor to be asked to join the team and it is my pleasure to work with the Rachael’s Ribbons of Hope Foundation.
I have been a proud member of RROH since its inception in 2007. Though I live in the Maryland area, I do everything I can to assist in the success of RROH because it is not just a worthy cause but dear to my heart. I have known the Newton family for many years
and had the distinct pleasure of personally knowing Rachael. Seeing Rachael go through her ordeal, often with a smile, is what drives me to participate and champion this great foundation. I currently work
with the State Department Federal Credit Union who supports the Children’s Miracle Network through the Washington, DC Annual Cherry Blossom events.
Originally from Bakersfield, California, where she met and married her husband of ten years, Amy served in the Air Force at the Air Force academy for four years during which time she met Lynette and Brett Newton. Starting as a volunteer, she now serves as Secretary for RROH. After separating from the Air Force, Amy pursued higher education, eventually earning a Master’s Degree in Communication from San Diego State University and currently resides in the Los Angeles area. Amy specializes in organizational communication and leadership strategies, which serves her and RROH well. Like many others, Amy’s network of friends and family has been deeply impacted by the difficulties of cancer and the triumph and courage of cancer patients. Amy’s goal is to bring positivity and hope to RROH and pediatric brain tumor patients!
A native of southern California, Chris was active duty Air Force stationed at the Air Force Academy in Colorado when he met Lynette and Brett Newton, and has served on the RROH Board since 2007. Chris and Amy have been married since 2002 and enjoy spending time exploring the American southwest together. Chris graduated from the University of Colorado and is now currently a graduate student at California State University – Northridge, studying
geography. He works in Los Angeles for the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Foreign Missions and continues to have a passion for pediatric brain tumor awareness.
George Washington University
School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Professor, Neurology & Pediatrics
Children’s National Medical Center
Senior Vice President, Center for Neuroscience and Behavioral Medicine;
Director, Brain Tumor Institute;
Director, Daniel and Jennifer Gilbert Neurofibromatosis Institute;
Principal Investigator, Center for Neuroscience Research (CNR)
Children’s Research Institute (CRI)
1977 BS Accounting – Colorado State University
1978 MS Business Administration – University of Northern Colorado
1978-1994 U.S. Air Force – Various Accounting, Budget and Acquisition positions
1994-1997 Genwal Coal Company – Accountant
1997-2003 Rocky Mountain Miners – Controller
2003- Present – Underground Services – Controller
I’ve been a board member with RROH since 2009. Rachael has always had a special place in my heart–she’s my
cousin. I wish I could have had more time with her while she was here, but we almost always lived a long way from each other. Thanks to the internet, I did get to instant message with her quite a bit. I got a memorial tattoo for her in 2011–a blue heart outline with a gray ribbon and her name (much like our logo)–and it’s given me a lot of opportunity to share her story. I’m so happy to be able to help keep her dreams alive through our work with the foundation.
I got my LPN in 2006 and my RN in 2009. I’ve worked in both long term care and pediatric nursing, and I love it. My dad was an officer in the U.S. Air Force, and we moved several times before we finally settled in Utah. Growing up, I spent a lot of time riding horses and drawing. I met the love of my life on Thanksgiving 2011 and got married a month and a half later. We found out on our one month anniversary that we were adding to our new little family, a little girl in October 2012.
(My little sister designed our little brainy mascot, Buster!)
Valerie created “Buster” the brain and has designed all the variations of Buster.