Board Members

Jill Taylor (M.Ed, PMP)

Jill Taylor manages research infrastructure projects in Victoria. Following her son’s diagnosis with NF, Jill became a member of the Tumour Foundation and has learned a great deal through the symposiums and other resources. She is passionate about improving the quality of care for those affected by NF, especially for those living outside the major centres of BC.

John (Ioannis) M Styliano, Ph.D.

As a scientist, John (Ioannis) M Stylianou Ph.D., spent 18 years conducting research to identify the genetic causes of common and rare diseases, starting with his PhD research in Scotland before moving to the US and more recently Canada. He has led research teams in university medical schools, non-profit research organizations, as well as the pharmaceutical industry. After contributing a wealth of discoveries to the genomics revolution, John is now Director of Precision Medicine in the Ministry of Health, where he works closely with his colleagues and stakeholders across the healthcare system and health authorities, to improve health outcomes for almost 5 million British Columbians through the delivery of precision medicine. John is passionate about complex genetic diseases that are difficult to treat and traditionally neglected, like NF, and how modern and complex medicines along with improved care delivery can positively impact patients and their families.

Lauren Yip

Lauren Yip (Bachelor of Science, Bacterial Pathogenesis and Microscopic Human Anatomy) is a strong advocate for reducing health inequalities. As a passionate leader who mobilizes resources to effect change, over the last 9 years she has contributed in executive roles in mental health awareness, anti-bullying, and poverty alleviation initiatives. She has also conducted research in the field of antibiotic alternatives. Her experience working alongside the marginalized in local communities has driven her to connect with vulnerable individuals. Lauren hopes to further the mission and expansion of The Tumour Foundation in empowering individuals with NF through a strong support network, and providing them with necessary medical care. She currently works as a Mental Health and Addictions Rehabilitation Worker in psychiatry.

Colette Madsen (M.A.)

Colette Madsen has over 25 years experience in the non-profit community social service sector in program management and project development. She enjoys working with multidisciplinary teams whose aims are to improve the lives of vulnerable children/youth and families. As a mother of a (now adult) son with NF1, she has for many years benefited from the information and knowledge gained through symposiums; including, the educational resources to advocate in the school system. She is privileged to have this opportunity to assist in fund development, event support, to raising the awareness of NF, and addressing specific needs of children/youth with NF.

Mariam Aqeel

Mariam Aqeel is an international medical graduate from Pakistan. She came to Canada in 2019 and is currently in the process of pursuing her medical career here. She has always been a health advocate and developed a passion to educate and support the community. She looks forward to being a part of Tumor Foundation of BC and play her part in helping the community.

Tara Kruyt

Tara Kruyt brings a passion for non-profit involvement to the board, focusing her efforts on fundraising, and optimizing the organization’s profile. Her interest in healthcare and improving the lives of those battling illness are demonstrated by her past experiences as a grant writer for cancer research projects, and formatting oncology research papers for leading doctors. She also has significant experience in drafting communication briefs and corporate event planning in the non-profit healthcare sector. Tara is excited to expand her knowledge of the NF community and offer her expertise and creativity to the organization.

Qi Zhang, Ph.D.

Qi Zhang holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering and professional engineering licenses in British Columbia and the State of Washington. Currently, he is a Civil Engineering faculty at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and a Research Fellow at the University of British Columbia. Prior to working in academia, Qi was a consulting structural engineer designing, evaluating and retrofitting bridges. Qi hopes to use his technical and problem-solving skills to grow the foundation, and to serve the community by building ‘bridges’ connecting patients, doctors and researchers.

Interested in joining the Board? Please get in touch with our Executive Director by email at for more information.

Staff Members

Desirée Sher

Executive Director
Desirée brings extensive non-profit experience to her role as the Executive Director at the Tumor Foundation. Having worked at NF Canada, the BC Neurofibromatosis Foundation, and the Learning Disabilities Association, she has become a strong advocate for the children and adulates battling NF. Desirée loves inspiring others and works as a coach and mentor for new leaders in the charitable sector.

Silvana Rangel, RN, BScN

Nurse Navigator Virtual NF Clinic
Silvana obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2003. She has provided nursing care to patients in general surgical units, surgical and medical daycare, acute medicine, intravenous therapy, and pre-surgical screening departments. Silvana is humbled and grateful to be in a role of supporting, caring for, and empowering her patients. She regards her patients as ultimate experts in their own health and wellness and she strives to give her patients a voice in the health care environment. Silvana enjoys her role as patient educator and she enjoys learning from others and staying current in her nursing practice. In her personal time, Silvana enjoys walks in nature, time with her family, listening to audio-books, and volunteer work with children in summer day camps.

Delina Squire

Administrative Assistant
Delina has a strong background in administrative processes and has worked as an Executive Assistant in many positions. Delina is an expert at software programs, project management and bookkeeping. Delina enjoys her life in Victoria, BC and her family life outside of work.