James R. Berenson, MD

Dr. Berenson is the founder, President and Medical and Scientific Director of the Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research (IMBCR) and President of Oncotherapeutics, a corporation that conducts clinical trials related to myeloma and metastatic bone disease as well as other cancers throughout the United States.

Dr. Berenson has his private practice in West Hollywood, California and has specialized in the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma, MGUS, amyloidosis, Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia and metastatic bone disease for over 30 years. He has been involved in many of the major breakthroughs that have brought new treatments for patients with these diseases resulting in both the improvement in the length and quality of their lives.

He has served as a member of the National Institutes of Health – Center for Scientific Review, Clinical Oncology Study Section. He is a member of the Scientific Boards of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) and the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF). He serves on both the Foundation and the Scientific Boards of the Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma Society. He also works with many other groups known for their work in multiple myeloma and bone metastases.

Dr. Berenson has authored and co-authored numerous books, articles, and abstracts in journals including Blood, Cancer, Cancer Research, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Journal of Clinical Oncology, New England Journal of Medicine, Science, Lancet, and Leukemia.

Patt McDonald

Patty McDonald is a multi-engine commercial pilot who flew corporately as well as a multi-year competitor in the 99’s Air Race Classic prior to being diagnosed with cancer.

As a mother of four and grandmother of 11, Patty is no stranger to significant health events and the challenges they present. She has cohesively supported her family through pediatric liver transplant, juvenile diabetes, and she herself is a cancer survivor.

Currently she sits as the Director of Customer Service at Dr. John’s Healthy Sweets based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Where she and her husband have been an owner/operator team since 2017. Through Dr. John’s Healthy Sweets, Patty’s passion for supporting healthful living comes to life through the production of the highest quality sugar-free treats. Through research and development, the Dr. John’s team continues to deliver new exciting plant-based treats powered with additional health benefits supporting digestive and immune health.

Patty and the team at Dr. John’s Healthy Sweets is proud to work alongside foundations such as The National Breast Cancer Foundation and Handing H.O.P.E. both non-profit organizations whose mission is to encourage people to ditch the chemicals and sugar in their foods in order to reduce the risk of cancer.

Debra Berenson

Debra Berenson is a professional actress and a member of both SAG-AFTRA and Actors' Equity. She has been seen and heard in numerous TV, movie and stage productions, TV and radio commercials, and voice-overs.

She is president and founder of Performing Artists Against Cancer (PAAC), a patient advocate for cancer patients, and serves on the Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research (IMBCR)’s advisory board.  

She is the author of two books.  I Have WHAT?  Third Edition is filled with survival stories and advice from myeloma patients plus contains a healthcare professionals’ section.  Its newly released companion book YOU Have WHAT? includes a candid look into the lives of cancer caregivers and also gives healthcare professionals’ tips.

We are pleased to support IMBCR and the groundbreaking research being conducted. 

Professor Michael Kassner

Michael Kassner graduated with a Bachelors in Science-Engineering from Northwestern University in 1972, and was commissioned in the US Navy as a Lieutenant (j,g.) until 1976.   He received Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Stanford University in 1981.Kassner headed the Metallurgy Division of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory the 1990s, then spent the next decade at the Mechanical Engineering Department at Oregon State University. In 2003, Prof. Kassner accepted a position as Chairman, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of Southern California. Later, he also was appointed a Professor of Materials Science at USC and was Acting Chair of the Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Dept.  He is currently Choong Hoon Cho Chair and Professor.  Prof. Kassner is currently active in pursuing research at USC on creep, fracture, fatigue and thermodynamics.

In 2009-2012 Prof. Michael Kassner was assigned to Washington D.C. as the Director of Research at the Office of Naval Research until Oct. 2012. He was responsible for overseeing the nearly one billion dollar basic-research budget for the US Navy. He was awarded the Navy’s Meritorious Public Service Medal. In this role, he investigated, and supported US Navy investment in numerous start-up operations, including Irridescent/Technovation, an NGO dedicated to encouraging girls and young women to enter STEM fields, in particular Coding.  Dr. Kassner later became Chairman of the Board of Technovation and brings those skills to CaraKit’s advisory board.

Robert Summers, PhD

Robert Summers is a business development executive based in Los Angeles, California. He helps others start up and establish successful companies in diverse industries spanning health care, technology, hospitality, and real estate investment.

Born and raised in Reno, Nevada, Dr. Summers worked locally as an EMT/firefighter while completing his undergraduate degree in health care administration and master's degree in organizational management. He continued his healthcare career at Washoe Medical Center, where he developed the largest and most successful Emergency Medical Services Events program in the state. After earning his PhD in business administration, he became a healthcare consultant for Compass Group North America, one of the largest contract companies in the nation. 

In his current role, Dr. Summers serves as business development officer and board member of Prank Bar DTLA, as well as CEO of Advanced Acquisitions. He also serves on the boards of Nevada Botanical Science, BotanaVista, and the Nevada Medical Marijuana Association, and has lent his expertise to companies including VistaCoders and El Sativo Tequila. 

Throughout his career, Dr. Summers has demonstrated a personal and professional track record of success through superior team building, collaboration, and motivation. His primary focus remains the respectful and compassionate treatment of all stakeholders, and he believes that ethical business is the most important aspect of any successful company. 

Desiree Finnegan

Former Senior Vice-President at Warner Bros. Pictures leading their International Marketing efforts from both Burbank as head of int'l publicity and for EMEA as head of int'l marketing & publicity, Desiree is a supporter of a variety of efforts to assist women and their families touched by cancer.

Jessica Wohlwend

With over a decade of experience in lifestyle public relations and marketing, Jessica Mark Wohlwend is a dedicated and passionate member of the Carakit Team spearheading publicity strategy and pitching for the company. Since starting Hit the Mark Public Relations in 2010, the agency has created global awareness for prestigious clients including Aloxxi, AmazingCosmetics, and Fred Segal to name a few. Prior to founding Hit the Mark, she led campaigns and brought awareness to the likes of OPI, Nicole by OPI, Murad, Alterna, DuWop, the Professional Beauty Association, YogaWorks, NutriFit, NYDJ, Circle of Friends and numerous other salons, spas and boutiques.