Richard L. Plotkin, Esq., retired from the private practice of law in 2008 and with his family formed The Max Cure Foundation, Inc., a non-profit charity whose mission is to advance the cause of pediatric cancers through research, family assistance and advocacy. Mr. Plotkin is one of the nation’s leading advocates for children with cancer and their families and has been consulted by Congress and by The Reagan-Udall Foundation in seeking his input on prospective changes to the existing federal laws with respect to expanded access/compassionate use when dealing with experimental drugs, including being asked to give input on the portion of 21st Century Cures Act dealing with expanded access. Mr. Plotkin was thrust into the public spotlight in March 2014 when he was asked to assist 7-year old Josh Hardy, who was suffering from an Adenovirus that threatened his life, in obtaining an experimental drug that the treating hospital suggested would save his life. Mr. Plotkin is credited with playing a major role in obtaining that drug for young Josh that in fact did cure the Adenovirus. He has given talks on issues related to expanded access at Harvard Medical School and at The Mays Business School at Texas A & M and as to that issue, has been interviewed on National Public Radio (NPR) and CBS Radio. He was appointed in 2014 as the national pediatric cancer advocate to a committee formed at NYU Langone Medical Center, Department of Bioethics, looking into whether changes needed to be made to the existing federal law on the issue identified above. Mr. Plotkin had also been invited by the Obama Administration to meetings at the White House on issues related to pediatric cancers.
Jonathan Eric Agin, JD, is the Executive Director for the Max Cure Foundation and co-founder of the Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute, a non-profit childhood cancer research biotech located in Beaverton, OR. Jonathan was recently nominated for and appointed to the National Cancer Institute Brain Malignancy Steering Committee and will serve in this role as a Patient Advocate. He will also participate on the Patient Advocate Steering Committee at the National Cancer Institute. He is also a Section Editor for the Cancer Knowledge Network (Canadian Oncology Journal) and frequent contributor to the Huffington Post. Jonathan is a licensed attorney and a former civil defense trial lawyer from Washington, DC. He is one of the most recognized names in the childhood cancer community. He has testified before the United States Congress on issues of identity theft impacting the childhood cancer community, which ultimately led to the introduction of bipartisan legislation named after his daughter Alexis (HR 2720, The Alexis Agin Identity Theft Protection Act of 2013). This legislation was later enacted into law as part of the overall budget deal of 2013. Jonathan’s legislative advocacy has proven effective in the passage of several bills in a climate of congressional stagnation and he continues to work closely with members of the community and beyond on legislative initiatives impacting the rare disease community. He has provided public comment before the FDA pedODAC Committee on the topic of biopsy in children with DIPG (an inoperable and almost universally fatal pediatric brain tumor). Jonathan became involved in the childhood cancer community following the diagnosis of his daughter Alexis at the age of two with DIPG in April 2008. Alexis battled heroically for thirty-three months until January 14, 2011. Jonathan frequently interacts with members of Congress and their staff, the White House, as well as various regulatory agencies and other cancer organizations in an effort to improve the plight of children with cancer. He is an original founding steering council member of the DIPG Collaborative. Jonathan resides in Falls Church, Virginia and has four children, Alexis (1-31-06 to 1-14-11), Gabriel age 7, Trevor age 4 and Kylie 2 years. Jonathan maintains his own website for his advocacy activities: www.jonathanagin.com and can be followed on Twitter @jonathanagin. In his spare time he also competes in endurance events like running marathons and triathlons.
Erica, who began employment with The Max Cure Foundation (MCF) in 2013 is its Marketing & Program Director and is responsible for the creation, execution and marketing of MCF’s programs, fundraisers and campaigns. She studied at Arizona State University and Stevens Henager College, obtaining her Masters degree from Stevens Henager in business with an emphasis on social and organizational behavior. Erica graduated Summa Cum Laude from her Masters program. Her theories on organizational development and workplace wellness have been peer reviewed and published.
With years of experience in management consulting and consumer relations, Erica has consulted with dozens of organizations on how to streamline their marketing and operations strategies to improve their ROI. Erica has managed numerous multi-million dollar portfolios and worked with some of the top business professionals throughout the United States.
Before Erica began employment with MCF, she spent several years in the legal and heath care industries. She now uses her skill set established over the years to communicate with the masses through social and digital marketing, as well as developing programs and fundraising opportunities for MCF. Erica is considered an expert in the field of social media marketing and has been credited as being the major powerhouse during the #SaveJosh campaign that went global and which is credited with saving the life of the life of 7-year old Josh Hardy. Erica resides in Arizona with her husband, Jayson, and three children.
Kevin is the Max Cure Foundation’s Program Coordinator and oversees the Roar Beyond Barriers program, performing the clerical and outreach work as well as seeking ways to expand and fund the program. He graduated from Fordham University with honors, a BA with a focus on Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies, and membership in the Phi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society. After moving to New Jersey at the end of May of 2015, he started working with the Max Cure Foundation in July of 2015 and has taken off to a tremendous start.
With experience in medical services as a volunteer EMT, working with substance dependent homeless patients, Kevin has a valuable understanding of the treatment and procedures that these families are struggling with. From his position he has sought new and innovative ways to provide services for the families and to fill in the gaps that parents cannot always cover. He also applies his business sense towards the program to operate it, and Max Cure in its most frugal but effective means possible.