2019-2020 BOON PROJECT BOARD
Katherine Brown, Founder & Executive Director
Katherine is founder of The Boon Project, twin sister of a Stage IV survivor, as well as a wife, mom, and teacher. Katherine is passionate about the mission of The Boon Project and hopes to see it serve as a source of information, support, and community for young adults diagnosed with cancer in the Lowcountry. Katherine lives in Summerville with her husband, Justin, a pharmacist, and their four children, Kinley, Caroline, Anderson and Thomas.
Brenda Bianchi, President
Brenda is a Charleston native, passionate about supporting the fight against cancer. She lost her mother to cancer in 2005 and her father has been a survivor since 2007. Brenda, a teacher, and her husband, Nick, an attorney, have three daughters. In regards to her role with The Boon Project, Brenda shares, "I am very excited that Katherine has brought me on board to work for such an important cause and am eager to help in any way that I can."
Catherine Rea, Vice President
Catherine was born and raised in Georgia. She spent her teen and college years learning the ins and outs of the event industry by working in the family event coordinating business. She graduated with a degree in Biology and currently co-owns Rea Landscape Management in Charleston with husband, Jerry. She is a mom of five kids and spends most of her time raising her children in the Lowcountry and also overseeing the office side of the landscape business. Catherine’s passion for supporting Boon Project has always been because of her cancer survivor brother, Jacob.
Melissa Legare Brown, Secretary*
Melissa was a native Charlestonian, wife, and teacher. She grew up on Sullivan's Island and attended the College of Charleston. She also attended the Savannah College of Art and Design where she earned a Masters of Fine Arts in Historic Preservation. Melissa and her husband Kyle volunteered with the Boon Project for several years. Melissa supported both family and friends as they struggled with cancer, and used her position on the board of the Boon Project to assist and encourage young adults with a cancer in the Lowcountry before her unexpected death in October 2020. The Boon Project honors her legacy as both an educator and young adult cancer advocate with the Melissa Legare Brown Memorial Scholarship.
Susan Cram-Smith, Survivor Representative
Susan is the twin sister of The Boon Project Founder. Diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in 2015, just weeks after turning 31 years old, Susan is all too familiar with the unique challenges associated with a cancer fight at this phase of life. Thanks to a drug trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Susan’s cancer is stable and she continues to work as a dance teacher and raise her children. She lives in Charleston, where her local oncology community works cooperatively with her out of state trial team for her continued care. Susan is loved and supported by a big extended family and loving friends.
Carson Davis, Treasurer
Carson is excited to use his accounting and finance education from USC to expand the organization’s programming and strengthen its ability to serve the young adult cancer fighting population. He lives in Charleston, frequenting the beach and many locally-owned restaurants, while working as a CPA for a broad range of tax clients. Carson shares, "The Boon Project is making a difference in the lives of our friends, family, and neighbors. The organization’s community has built bonds and provided resources necessary to support young adult cancer fighters.”
Joelle Cardwell, Marketing
Joelle is excited to use her marketing, media, public relations, and event planning experience to further The Boon Project’s mission. She is the sister in law of the founder Katherine Brown and survivor representative Susan Cram-Smith. Joelle has had cancer affect many friends and family members and sees just how important The Boon Project is to those who have been affected by cancer.
Joelle graduated from the College of Charleston with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and has had internships and jobs at local radio stations, television stations, and public relation firms. She also has experience in corporate event planning. She is married and has two rescue dogs.
Blair Grass, Young Adult Cancer Guide
The Boon Project is fortunate to be able to offer the services of a volunteer nurse as our Young Adult Cancer Guide. Blair is available via phone, email, or scheduled appointment to meet with young adults facing cancer (and their caregivers.) She does not give medical advice, but rather helps navigate what can be a very confusing and overwhelming process. Please contact Blair through our Boon Project Director, Katherine Brown at email@example.com or (843) 754-1879.
Hannah Neimy, Survivor Representative
Hannah is a Hodgkins Lymphoma (stage III) survivor, diagnosed while pursuing a degree in biology at The College of Charleston. Hannah is still passionate about helping other young adults navigating the complicated, and often times overwhelming, cancer fight. Currently, Hannah is applying to medical schools with the hopes of someday going into hematology/oncology. Hannah shares, “as a board member of The Boon Project, it is my goal to share my story with the hopes of helping, inspiring, and encouraging other young adults whose lives have also been touched by cancer. I hope to help create a tight-knit community of advocates, survivors, and fighters with stories of their own.