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Image by Ian Schneider


No one draws any salary for their participation with Partners For Krabbe Research (P4KR). Our board generously gives their time and talents to make this foundation a success and to change the lives of children born with Krabbe. Please take a moment to get to know our board members.

Anne Rugari

Anne attended college and received a degree in accounting.  Her life experiences have taught her the most about life.  She has known Krabbe disease since 1986 when her second child, Nick was diagnosed at 7 months old.  After her third child, Gina, born with the same rare disease, Anne felt the desire and passion to start her own foundation with the hope of finding a cure for Krabbe disease. Her knowledge of the disease and the challenge to make a difference for children and families affected by Krabbe have driven her to partner with as many people as possible who can support her commitment in finding a cure for Krabbe Disease.

Phil Rugari

Phil attended Western Illinois University and earned a bachelors degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management with a Minor in business management. In his tenure, he has held multiple positions in the restaurant industry including: Beverage Director, General Manager, Training General Manager and Executive Chef. Phil's strong leadership skills, business acumen and personal experiences with Krabbe make him an excellent addition to the team. 

Frank Kluesener

 Living in Cincinnati, Frank became aware of Krabbe disease in 2009 through the friendship of Anne Rugari and her daughter Gina who was afflicted with the disease.  Frank and Gina quickly became the very of best friends. Frank who never had children of his own, took on a big brother or fatherly role model as a friend of the family. Frank introduced Gina to many first adventures throughout the next six years from adapted snow skiing, to boating and tubing on the water, to drive-in movie nights (who remembers drive-in theaters?) and so much more up to her passing away in 2015. 
Inspired by Gina’s quest to live life to the fullest, Frank believes that all children no matter their condition, should be given a chance to have a childhood that is full of hope and wonder.  It is for this that Frank has a big heart for P4KR and it’s mission.

Frank’s life long career occupation        is welding and is employed by         HDT Global.

Alice Murphy

Alice was born and raised in Cincinnati after her parents came over from Germany with her brother and three sisters to begin a new life after the war. She married and raised four daughters while completing her accounting degree at Mount St. Joseph College and then passed the CPA exam. Alice enjoyed sports growing up so she volunteered her time coaching soccer and volleyball while her daughters were in grade school. Alice's fundraising interests evolved largely from becoming involved in Mother of Mercy High School’s auctions. Currently Alice works part time at her daughter’s restaurant handling the accounting along with working a couple other small businesses. In Alice’s free time she has been able to get more involved with fundraising events.  She enjoys supporting Partners For Krabbe Research as the Silent Auction Chairperson.  She loves the opportunity to work alongside wonderful and dedicated people who support such a great cause!


Lauren Kersting

Lauren is a college graduate who has worked in the healthcare field for over 25 years.  With her degree in Sports medicine, she has worked as an athletic trainer and assistant to physical, speech and occupational therapists.  Her work in Sports medicine lead her to a position as an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) and eventually into the pediatric ER. Lauren continues to work in the healthcare industry and has been a licensed massage therapist and certified phlebotomist for the past 12 years.  Her life involves many activities including sports, softball, gymnastics, multiple outdoor recreations, and traveling. Lauren’s favorite activities include spending time with family and supporting the military.  Lauren also volunteers her time for CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) as needed,

Lauren’s initial inspiration for Krabbe disease came from knowing her cousin, Nick, who had Krabbe in 1986-1987. 

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Lauren Kersting (cont'd)

A few years later in high school, Lauren did a research paper on Krabbe and the Leukodystrophies. The paper was just the beginning of educating and creating awareness about Krabbe disease to her friends, family and others.  Lauren was involved with Partners For Krabbe Research from its inception, donating and supporting the foundation along with attending events.  Lauren has also been involved with attending conferences and fundraisers involving Krabbe disease outside of P4KR events. Any opportunity to create awareness and to learn more about Krabbe disease has been a passion for Lauren.  Lauren looks forward to continuing her journey as a board member with Partners For Krabbe Research and to support the efforts to raise money for research in order to find an effective treatment for Krabbe disease. 

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