Meet Our Staff


Carlos Quesada
Carlos Quesada
Carlos was born and raised in Spain and moved to the States to pursue his passion for photography, a passion that led him to a successful career in the developing and growing of a high tech engineering and manufacturing company in the Midwest. After fourteen years he decided to make a change in his life and follow a path more focused in social responsibility, joining our Foundation in May of 2017.

He lived four years in Hawaii and he now enjoys beautiful Alameda in company of his wife and his dog. They love exploring all the amazing opportunities the Bay Area brings them culturally. 

Miriam Swanson
Events  and Programs Coordinator

Miriam grew up in Minnesota and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences from the University of Minnesota. She is finishing her Master’s Degree in Sport and Performance Psychology. Miriam’s background involves working with those who have intellectual and developmental disabilities in both the school settings and private homes. She was also given the opportunity in 2014 to spend three weeks in Thailand with the Deaf Community. During her undergraduate degree she worked closely with an individual with epilepsy, and wanted to do more. The focus for her thesis was driven by her passion for those with epilepsy. She then completed her first triathlon to raise awareness and inclusion for those with epilepsy, and ever since then wanted to be involved in future events. In 2017, Miriam moved to California to work in the school districts, private practice, and an Adult Day Center as a Speech-Language-Pathologist Assistant. Miriam was looking for a shift in her career and was given the opportunity to focus more directly with the Epilepsy Community.

Miriam enjoys endurance sports and participates in Ironman distance triathlons. During training season she is able to explore more of Northern California and climb through the mountains.

Lauren Cotter
Programs Coordinator
Lauren is a senior-level marketing and advertising professional who has developed high-impact campaigns that delivered dramatic gains in revenue, visibility, and market share.

Lauren was at the height of her career in marketing when she began to experience neurological symptoms. Her life and career was halted with the discovery of a large meningioma tumor in 2012. Lauren’s experience navigating through the medical system has led her to a new gained respect for patients and the hurdles they face. This enlightenment has fueled a passion to advocate and bring patients and the medical community together to discover the inner workings of the brain and discover a cure for both epileptic and non-epileptic seizures.

A New England native Lauren has been in the Bay Area for over 20 years. She has 3 wonderfully supportive children. Lauren has sat on many boards including Easter Seals, Boys and Girls Club, the Ohlone Foundation, the Washington Hospital Foundation and now is the secretary for the Neuroscience Patient Family Advocacy Committee. Her numerous media campaigns included beneficiaries such as the American Cancer Society, Special Olympics, and the American Lung Association among others.

Her diverse capabilities include: Television, Radio, Sports Marketing, Web, Print, Social Marketing, Promotion, Film and Video Production, Sponsorships and Public Relations.

Kimberly Bari
Programs Ambassador
Kimberly Bari, who grew up in CT, has a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from Elon University along with a Master’s Degree in education from Loyola University Maryland. She taught elementary school up in Spokane, WA before moving to China to teach English. In returning to the states, she came to San Francisco to complete the TESOL program at UC Berkeley Extension. With a love for teaching and traveling, she also enjoys spending time with family and friends, practicing yoga, and exploring the city.

Kimberly’s interest in epilepsy relates to her personal experience.  She has joined our group with the interest of providing support and assistance within the community.

If you would like to learn more about her journey in living with epilepsy and receiving treatment through UCSF, you can watch her TV episode called “Rebooting Kimberly’s Brain”.

Aashna Patel
Public Health Intern
Aashna Patel is an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley studying Public Health. After completing a shadowing internship with pediatric neurologist Dr. Rachel Kuperman at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, she became very interested in learning more about epilepsy and the community development and access to care issues that surround it. She currently serves as a Public Health intern at the Foundation, working on projects to develop more awareness and support networks for epilepsy in underserved regions of Northern California.

Aashna is originally from a suburb of Chicago, IL and moved to California to attend college. While she doesn’t miss the snow, she tries to visit her family often. In her free time, she loves to travel, discover new hiking trails, and is an avid Chicago Bulls fan.