President and founder of the Canadian Transverse Myelitis Association
Kimberley Kotar is the President and Founder of the Canadian Transverse Myelitis Association (CTMA). In this role, Kimberley coordinates, manages and leads the team in all aspects of increasing awareness, advocacy and support for those with rare neuroimmunological diseases. Kimberley was diagnosed with transverse myelitis in March 2006 and it was this diagnosis that led her to spearhead the CTMA.
Kimberley is no stranger to healthcare, having spent 14 years at the McGill University Health Centre as a research coordinator in the Departments of Medical Genetics, Respirology/Clinical Epidemiology, and Cardiology. Kimberley also worked in clinical care setting for two years, including the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit of the Montreal Children’s Hospital.
Kimberley has been published in several peer-reviewed medical journals, completed 17 marathons and 22 half marathons since her transverse myelitis diagnosis and works as a volunteer and first responder in animal rescue.
Tracey Flynn was born and raised in Charlottetown, PE. She moved to Montreal and lived there for just over a decade before recently returning to PEI to further her studies. She studied Holistic Nutrition and is currently studying Bioscience Technologies, with the intention of completing her studies as a Research Scientist in Preventative Medicine.
While in Montreal, Tracey maintained a position as the Marketing Coordinator at a local country club. On her spare time she has organized music events for up and coming artists from across North America focusing primarily on the all-ages scene and giving youth the opportunity to be seen and heard. On her spare time, she is an artist and a plant-based chef. She is always seeking a way to better her and the lives of others.
Tracey joined the Canadian Transverse Myelitis Association Board of Directors in 2012 after having volunteered at a few of the fundraising events. She feels fortunate to be surrounded by great board members who are bringing awareness and support to the Transverse Myelitis community across Canada. Her role in the association is diverse, she assists in event organization and planning as well as ensuring resources and information is available to those affected by Transverse Myelitis and other rare neuro-immunological diseases and helping discover research on nutritional advancements to help ailments associated to this disease.
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Eat to Live, Live to Eat
Heather Allen-Johnson is a newly appointed board member for the Canadian Transverse Myelitis Association (CTMA).
Heather is no stranger to medical research- having spent over 10 years in the field of medical research with several publications during her time at Dalhousie University. She now is a self employed business owner specializing in bookkeeping and consulting. She has decided to take advantage of the flexibility in her schedule to volunteer with a worthy cause and has chosen CTMA.
Heather is married to a third generation Wild Blueberry farmer and they live on the farm in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia with their four Bengal cats and horse. When things are not busy on the farm Heather and her husband Klaine enjoy many travelling adventures – always including the cats.
Neil McNeil is a lifelong resident of Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley town of Kentville. He spent many years working for the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union before retiring in 2013 and beginning work with the Government of Canada as a Conciliation Officer/Mediator. In his current role he is part of a team which mediates labour disputes across Canada.
Neil was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis in February of 2001 and since then has been keenly interested in raising awareness of TM and encouraging those who are affected to work to achieve their maximum potential. He has taken part in two research projects in the United States as a volunteer subject as part of an extensive project to help those seeking relief from pain due to spinal cord injuries.
In his spare time he enjoys gardening, fishing, golf, music and spending time with family.
Neil hopes his participation with the Board of the Directors of the CTMA will be of assistance in raising awareness of TM and providing support to those in need.