Cheyenne brinson, president
Cheyenne is a healthcare consultant and speaker for a boutique healthcare consulting firm based in Chicago. She helps surgical practices solve business problems, streamline workflow, and increase operational efficiency.
Cheyenne holds a MBA and Bachelor’s degree in accounting from Troy State University in Troy, Alabama. She is an inductee to the Accounting Hall of Honor in recognition of her professional accomplishments and past president of the Illinois Medical Group Management Association.
Finally diagnosed at age 40 with lipedema, Cheyenne seeks to educate patients and physicians about lipedema, Dercum's Disease and other fat disorders, so that early diagnosis and treatment can occur.
laura baker, vice-president
Laura is a Special Education and General Education Teacher as well as Reading Specialist. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and received her teaching credentials with Honors from California State University Northridge. Over the course of her 22 year career, she taught children from Kindergarten through Eighth Grade. Laura is a Dercum’s Disease, Lipedema and Lymphedema patient who has experienced years of fat bias and lack of diagnoses. Her desire to educate healthcare providers and fellow patients about fat disorders motivated her to volunteer for FDRS.
Laura currently lives in Santa Barbara, California with her husband, John and daughter, Katie. She enjoys writing, singing, sewing and swimming. Their two cats keep her company as she spends her time on home projects, writing interests and volunteering for FDRS.
briana garrott, secretary
Briana is an Orange County, Southern California native. After moving to Santa Barbara, California in 1997 to pursue employment in Fine Dining Management, she returned to Orange County to focus on raising her children. Her Lipedema symptoms came on full force during a high risk pregnancy and difficult delivery of her son in 2003. A mere 14 months later she welcomed her second son into her family. During this time she made great efforts to understand the dramatic shift that had occurred in her lower body; trying weight loss management plans, food eliminations and extreme fitness training to no avail. Returning back to the work force in an Administrative position for an Environmental Consulting Firm in 2010 her symptoms began to accelerate and worsen. This led to greater research efforts and ultimately discovering the possibility of lipedema in 2013. Briana immediately pursued conservative treatment options and eventually received an official diagnosis in 2015. She is currently working for a Holistic and Allopathic Veterinary Practice as a Hospital Administrator where she is fully supported by her employers to make her health a priority. Briana is an active member of the lipedema community and has been practicing conservative treatments with great success for two years.
nancy lazarus, treasurer
Nancy is a Financial Professional with over twenty-five years of experience working in a variety of industries including pharmaceuticals, entertainment, and a non-profit cancer research center.She is currently working in the industrial metals and minerals trading industry.Nancy received her B.S. in Accounting from Rutgers University.
Nancy is a lipedema and lymphedema patient; she developed lipedema during puberty and secondary lymphedema in her thirties.She was not officially diagnosed until she was in her mid-forties.Nancy is particularly passionate about the need for the education of health care providers in order to get patients diagnosed and treated in the earliest stages of their disorders.
Polly Armour, Research Coordinator
Polly studied Applied Ecology at Rutgers University, and worked as an environmental scientist while operating an organic farm in New York’s Hudson Valley. In 2013, she discovered she had lipedema, eventually undergoing WAL liposuction with Dr. Josef Stutz. Afterwards, she acted as a “patient pilot,” helping American women with lipedema navigate the journey to Germany, and she realized how badly we need this treatment in the States, since many people cannot make a trip overseas. Through her company Stutz Lipedema Services LLC, she assists Dr Stutz’s patients, plans his teaching trips, and advocates for women with Lipedema.
Felicitie daftuar, past-president
Felicitie is Founder and Executive Director of the Lipedema Foundation www.lipedema.org, a US not-for-profit and private foundation established in 2015 that is funding basic and translational research projects at top-tier universities and hospitals in order to define, diagnose and treat Lipedema and related conditions such as Dercum’s Disease. She is past President of FDRS from 2013-2015, and drove its resurrection; she currently serves on the board as the Research Coodinator.
Felicitie received her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from The University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business in 2009, after many years in software engineering and project management. Her undergraduate degree is a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Arizona in 2000.
Felicitie had lipedema symptoms occur at 4 weeks postpartum after her second child was born and has successfully managed the lipedema symptoms through only nutritious eating, exercise, caffeine and natural hormonal fluctuations. She also credits her 3 girls (ages 6, 3 and 1) and her Pilates instructor with keeping the lipedema fatigue in check.