Mollaret's Meningitis Association For a world free of Mollaret's Meningitis
  • Board of Directors
Board of Directors

Michael Hrehor | Chairman

Michael Founded Hrehor Enterprises in 2001. Over the years they have operated in network marketing, music instruction, video production, skin care, graphic design, fashion and are currently focused on publishing and music performance.

Michael’s first involvement with volunteering came as a Sheriff’s Explorer with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department which partnered with the Boy Scouts of America to create this unique opportunity. This program allowed Michael to learn about law enforcement first hand and participate in all the departments including patrol, investigations, traffic, gang unit, etc. Michael got his first experience with volunteer management by holding many leadership positions, including and up to acting Captain. Over the years Michael has also volunteered at a zoo and with faith based and social support organizations.

Michael’s professional career included working in law enforcement in detention facilities, dispatching, and information technology. He worked security in amusement parks, major malls, hospitality, and the entertainment industry.  Michael’s most recent experience was working in information technology for call centers, government and international corporations. 

Michael’s first experience with Mollaret’s Meningitis was in 1998.  While attending the Sheriff’s academy, he collapsed, was rushed to the hospital, and diagnosed with viral meningitis.  After a two week hospital stay, he believed his experience with meningitis was over.  However, In 2009 Michael began experiencing neck stiffness, intense headaches, light sensitivity, and the inability to even keep down water.  At the ER he was again diagnosed with viral meningitis.  Since this was Michael’s second hospitalization for viral meningitis, the infectious disease doctor tested for HSV and was able to diagnosed Michael with recurrent aseptic viral meningitis.  Armed with this diagnosis, Michael realized that his repeated bouts of neck stiffness and headaches over the years had been minor flares of his meningitis. It wasn’t until consulting with a neurologist in 2016 regarding his worsening and ongoing neurological symptoms that he discovered that his disease is also called Mollaret’s Meningitis, which allowed Michael to find more information about this disease. 

Michael’s symptoms continued to become more disabling over the years, culminating in a breakdown in July 2015 when he became disabled and unable to work. 

Michael's hope is to support research into Mollaret’s to get more answers for patients with this rare disease.  Michael also has experienced multiple traumatic brain injuries (TBI), probable functional neurological disorder (FND) including non epileptic seizures, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depression, and anxiety.

To learn more about Michael you can visit his personal blog

Heather Freeman | Vice Chairman

Heather is a 31-year-old mother of two and was diagnosed with Mollaret’s Meningitis ten years ago. She has worked as a teacher, trained in special needs, and participated in fundraisers for a local charity school.  She has also worked for the NHS booking hospital appointments for patients across the UK. She set up her own cleaning services business which unfortunately had to close due to her deteriorating health. 


She has suffered many flares of Mollaret’s Meningitis in the ten years, and has recently been suffering with other medical problems which point to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Her goal in life is to make Mollaret’s Meningitis known, to bring sufferers together, support research, and to hopefully find a cure.

Tracey Martel | Treasurer

Tracey has experience with research, fundraising, and organizing.


Michelle Light-Witt | Member

Michelle was diagnosed with Mollaret's Meningitis in 2003 after being hospitalized twice that year with Viral Meningitis. She was first hospitalized with Viral Meningitis in 1987 after having a procedure called an EGD to look for ulcers in her stomach. It was determined that the anesthesia had aggravated the virus and caused the meninges to swell in her brain, and has since been a pattern (trigger for MM flares) after receiving anesthesia for other procedures including dental work. In January of 2003, Michelle had completed the Texas Certified Applicator for Pest Control Class and Testing at A&M Science & Agriculture Studies for State Licensing. She was the co-founder/owner of Stan's Pest Control Temple, TX. A short time after completing "on the job" training and handling pesticides, she was hospitalized for another Viral Meningitis flare. Six months later, she was hospitalized again for the same. She was diagnosed with Mollaret's Meningitis based on a confirmed HSV lumbar puncture spinal fluid analysis (Varicella Virus) and informed that to date only 69 people had been diagnosed with this syndrome/disease in America. It was determined that the pesticides created an allergic reaction which aggravated the virus causing the meninges to swell.

In 2007 Michelle became a Realtor in Texas. She was also heavily involved in her volunteer work with the Community Emergency Response Team under Temple Fire Dept and Bell County Emergency Mgmt, where she served as President for Temple CERT. She also received the proper training for storm spotting and made storm reports to the National Weather Service during storm events through amateur radio. (Licensed FAA - KD5WBK)

After receiving a "rare" diagnosis, Michelle, along with her husband Jim, decided to create a support group page under "ning.com". The purpose of this site was to see how many people with this syndrome were actually out there world wide and create a support hub of shared information. Michelle is the founder of Mollaretsmeningitus.ning.com and has partnered with Mollarets.org to join the two support groups into one central hub for sufferers.

Most recently, Michelle has been awarded her Social Security based on Mollaret's Meningitis making this syndrome/disease a newly accepted diagnosis for SSI and SSDI. Although the Judge worded it under other categories for purposes of pushing it through, she did in fact recognize it as a debilitating "rare" disease. Michelle also is the caregiver for her husband, a retired Army Veteran with TBI/PTSD, much similar to what post meningitis patients are diagnosed with as part of the syndrome.

Michelle has a YouTube channel and spends her spare time making videos, researching and helping others. She also spends time with her son, his family and her grandchildren.

Michelle has been an advocate for other MM patients and helped lead their doctors in preparing treatment options on an individual basis. Michelle is also experienced in medical terminology, pharmaceuticals, patient advocacy and patient care along with information pertaining to multiple diseases/diagnosis based on years of research; especially in her own diagnosis... Mollaret's Meningitis. 

Cynthia McCoy | Member

Cynthia, holds an RN, BS in Biology, and Masters in Public Health. She worked with Harvard School of Public Health in research and data analysis on a top 10 National Superfund site, Tar Creek, regarding effects of heavy metals on health. She has worked over 20 yrs in Hospital Administration as a CIC, Certified in Infection Control, for major hospitals in Dallas, Orlando, and Kansas City, KS. Also, she has worked as a LHRM, Licensed Healthcare Risk Manager, dealing with litigation issues for malpractice and adverse outcome events in the hospital. Finally working as Director of Quality Assurance, where she supervised Infection Control, Risk Management, Coding / Billing, and Ethics departments. She has worked in implementation of Federal, and State, regulations for hospitals, and Billing and Coding Compliance.

 

Educational Honors 

  • GAMMA PHI Chapter of BETA BETA BETA
  • Biological Honor Society
  • Recipient of PSU Biology Dept. Scholastic Scholarship
  • Recipient of NEO A&M College Scholastic Scholarship
  • Dean’s Honor Roll (3.8 GPA) NEO & PSU
  • President's Honor Roll (4.0 GPA) PSU

PUBLICATIONS

  • Authored article on Disease Transmission in Hospital Environments, published in Environmental Public Health journal. 
  • Authored an article on communicable disease in the OR environment that was published fall 2001 in Point of View, a journal for OR/ER nurses.
  • Authored an article on surgical risk indications with co-authors Dr. Haley and Dr. Goodman 1997 published at UT Southwestern, Dallas Tx.

Dani Denham | Member

Dani worked as a medical receptionist and did medical records for over 4 years. She also served on the board for Head Start when her daughter was in the program.

Dr. Nikki Esquer | Member

Nikki has a doctorate in nursing and is a nurse practitioner.

Katrina McAuley | Member

Katrina has experience in the legal and social work industries.


Janet Reeves | Member

Janet has experience in the information technology industry with technical writing, software, database design, and research.

Lisa Sherman-Weeks | Member

Lisa has experience with marketing and team building.


Markesia Tatum | Member

Markesia has experience with research.