A very special person in our office is celebrating ten years of hard work and dedication to fighting Duchenne muscular dystrophy: Development Officer, Maura Carroll!
Throughout Maura’s 10 years on the team, she has been integral to the successful implementation of both Jett Foundation and greater community efforts such as the FDA Adcom leading to approval of the first Duchenne treatment and cultivating community relationships to grow our annual operating budget by nearly 800% since 2009. Not only is she amazing at what she does, but she tackles every challenge with grace and an unmatched positivity.
In honor of her anniversary, we sat down with Maura and asked her to share some of her career highlights at Jett Foundation and her goals for the next ten years.
Q: What drew you to Jett Foundation?
A: Christine! I met Christine through a mutual friend, and I was in awe: mother of five, nurse, and running her own non-profit to save her son–I just knew I would follow her anywhere. Her passion, her fearlessness, her honesty, and her willingness to go to any length to save her son have been incredible to witness.
Q: What do you see as your biggest accomplishments or proudest moment since your start?
A: Being a part of the FDA advisory committee meeting in 2016 was an incredible experience. For so long there was no approved drug or treatment for Duchenne and having even a small part in bringing over 1,000 families together for this momentous occasion was something I will always remember and treasure.
Q: How has Jett Foundation evolved since you arrived?
A: In 2009, we had a budget of about $250,000, entirely focused on research and funded mainly by asking Christine’s friends and neighbors for money. Today, we are a nearly-$2 million national organization. We host 100 kids at camp across the country each year, gift nearly 15 families a year vital with accessible equipment, and bring other resources to families impacted by Duchenne. We travel the country monthly through our family workshops, ambassador program, and Porch Nites; connecting, empowering and supporting thousands of children and families each year.
Q: What is the best part of your job? What excites you most?
A: There are so many great things about my job that are exciting! One super fun activity is getting to invite families from all over New England to join us at Duchenne Awareness Day at the Patriots training camp. Each year I get to witness kids getting Bill Belichick’s autograph, and even Tom Brady has often stopped by our tent giving these kids the experience of a lifetime. And, this summer, I had the great privilege of attending Camp Promise-East and West. Kangaroo Court at camp was something I can’t possibly describe, but watching the kids pour chocolate sauce and whipped cream pies on their camp counselors was hilarious!
Another great part of my job is sharing my work with my family. I have three healthy girls that have all grown up knowing the McSherry family and participating in Jett Foundation events. They have babysat at workshops, biked the JettRide, and volunteered at events. I think it’s so important to love what you do and make a difference in people’s lives and I hope I have shared that with my children.
Q: What inspires you each day?
A: I’m surrounded by the most selfless and talented people and am so lucky that I get to work for an organization that is literally impacting hundreds and thousands of children, teens, young adults, and families affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Q: What is on your wish list for the next 10 years with Jett Foundation?
A: Well, as Christine always says, I hope to be out of business in 10 years. I wish for everyone living with Duchenne to have a treatment and cure for Duchenne, and for no parent to be given the dire diagnosis that Christine received 18 years ago.
In the absence of that, my wish is that more corporate partners team together with Jett Foundation to support our direct service programs so we can have a bigger impact and serve more children and young adults affected by Duchenne.
If you see Maura, please join us in showing her some love and appreciation! Congratulations, Maura, and thank you for fighting Duchenne with us.