AAMDSIF Staff | Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation Return to top.


Chief Executive Officer

Brad A. Wong is passionate about serving patients and families with life-threatening rare diseases. As CEO and Executive Director of AAMDSIF, he is responsible for the overall management and direction of the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation, which is the world’s leading nonprofit health organization dedicated to supporting patients and families living with aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PHN), and related bone marrow failure diseases.

In collaboration with the Board of Directors and staff, Brad leads the Foundation’s efforts to advance its mission of providing hope to patients and families affected by bone marrow failure diseases through support, education, research, and advocacy. Throughout his career, Brad has been personally and professionally committed to empowering patients to become effective advocates for their personal care and the healthcare policies that affect them, promoting access to quality care, strengthening medical education, and advancing medical research.

Brad has extensive nonprofit leadership experience including serving as President & CEO of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, Executive Director of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and Assistant Vice President of the University of California, San Francisco Foundation.

“I look forward to leading AAMDSIF as we address the advances in the treatment of bone marrow failure diseases, ultimately resulting in more patients living longer and better lives,” he says.  Connect

Tricia Maddrey Baker

Tricia Maddrey Baker, Communications Manager. Tricia is responsible for expanding the Foundation’s online connection between our patient and health professional communities and the education, support and research programs that we offer. Her diverse background ranges from small nonprofits and associations to corporate philanthropy. She’s also achieved excellent results in stakeholder engagement and credits her parents with her passion for service, as well as her artistic vision. Connect

Patient and Health Professional Services

Alice Houk

Alice Houk, Senior Director of Patient and Health Professional Services. Alice manages the research grant program, monitors newly published research and drug company announcements, coordinates the Scientific Symposium, serves as liaison to the Medical Advisory Board, and is the primary contact with other professional and patient organizations. She also leads efforts in educating health professionals about bone marrow failure diseases.  Her nonprofit experience includes having served as a national organizer for the SAFE KIDS campaign and as a regional program coordinator for the March of Dimes. In addition, Alice has extensive experience working with volunteers in educational, fundraising, and program areas. She holds a Master's degree in Health Policy from the University of Maryland. Connect

Leigh Clark

Leigh Clark, Director of Patient Services. Leigh has dedicated more than a decade to serving patients, families, and loved ones in the rare bone marrow failure disease sector for AAMDSIF.  In this role, her reach spreads across the nation to points across the globe. Leigh helps coordinate all of the AAMDSIF Patient & Family Conferences, webinars and support groups as well as providing direct assistance via the Helpline and Chat. Her previous experience includes working as a patient advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities. Leigh is a board certified patient advocate (BCPA). She currently holds an Associate of Arts in Psychology and is currently working on a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from University of Maryland Global Campus. As a a cancer survivor, Leigh understands the life changing phase of diagnosis, the life threatening phase of treatment and the life long phase of living with cancer. Connect

Nkeiruka Ashiedu

Nkeiruka Ashiedu, Program Content Manager. Nikky is responsible for supporting our program and development staff in communications with our donors, patients, families, and other organizations who are critical to the success of  AAMDSIF. She works with program staff to ensure our educational materials are well branded, up to date, and consistent with our messaging. Additionally, she supports the development team with our fundraising campaigns. Her previous experiences are in epidemiology and community outreach with Delaware Health and Social Services. Nkeiruka studied Health Behavior Science at The University of Delaware and earned her MPH from Thomas Jefferson University. Connect

Nyaradzo Sirewu

Nyaradzo Sirewu, Patient and Professional Programs Coordinator. Nyarie serves as the organizational contact for patients regarding patient learning events and supports all activities related to program development, management, and outreach for both the patient and professional services teams. She holds a Master of Public Health in Infectious Disease Epidemiology from Cornell University and has previously worked in gynecological cancer research as well as infectious disease education and project management. Connect


photo of Azalea Candelaria

Azalea Candelaria, Senior Director of Development

Azalea Candelaria has joined the organization as Senior Director of Development.  Azalea will lead individual giving, corporate partnerships, events, and planned giving programs to ensure the financial health of the Foundation.
With over two decades of experience in philanthropy, Azalea brings a wealth of knowledge and best practices to this position. Building upon the successful 40-year track record of AAMDSIF, the development program will build meaningful relationships with long-standing and new donors.
Azalea reflects, “Joining this year, AAMDSIF’s 40th Anniversary, is so special. It’s heartwarming to see how our donors and corporate partners that have been with the Foundation on this journey and have worked to ensure our mission continues to have the resources to deliver for the community.”
Her passion for serving patients and families is unbounded, “A hallmark of AAMDSIF is that it’s a patient-focused, patient-centered organization, that serves and supports all patients and families living with bone marrow failure diseases. Placing patients at the core of our work is so key to advancing the important work of the Foundation.”
Over the years, Azalea has held national and regional leadership positions at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, March of Dimes and the American Occupational Therapy Foundation. She has a strong track record in fundraising strategy and execution and extensive experience in partnering with volunteers and the stakeholder community. We are delighted to welcome Azalea Candelaria to the AAMDSIF team.  Connect

Elise Harper

Elise Harper, Development Associate. Elise is the 2018 Phyllis McCarthy Public Interest Service Award winner from Public Citizen. Elise joined the Foundation in 2010, providing admin support for the CEO, managing the database of patients and health care professionals and handling financial processes. Connect

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