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 Burkitt's Lymphoma Fund for Africa


Burkitt's Lymphoma Fund for Africa is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization based in Seattle, Washington, which funds programs designed to diagnose and treat BL patients in east Africa.  In cooperation with US and African partners, BLFA also works to insure that patients and their families receive social, economic, and logistical support needed to help them complete treatment successfully.

BLFA (previously Burkitt's Lymphoma Kenya Fund) was incorporated in January 2010 as a Nonprofit Corporation in the State of Washington with headquarters in Seattle. It is registered with the Secretary of State of Washington as a charitable organization, and has been certified as a nonprofit Sec. 501(c)(3) charitable organization by the US Internal Revenue Service.

Read about our operating principles here. 




Miriam Sevy, President. Miriam holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University, and has been President of Leora Consulting Group since 1999. She has served as a financial advisor to over 70 non-profit and local government organizations in the Pacific Northwest. Miriam currently serves as Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair for Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle; and has taught Finance at Seattle University and Pacific Lutheran University.

Ned Palmer, Secretary and Treasurer. Ned holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Harvard University. Over the last 25 years he has served in various leadership positions as a director of nonprofit organizations, including the Woodland Park Zoological Society, Helpline House of Bainbridge Island and Housing Resources Board. Mr. Palmer retired in 2007 as a Senior Vice President of Bank of America where he specialized in municipal finance.

Ayo Ajayi, MD, MPH, Director. Dr. Ajayi leads strategy development and implementation for PATH country programs in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Before joining PATH in 2008, Dr. Ajayi worked for 16 years with the Population Council, serving as regional director for sub-Saharan Africa. Previously, he was Africa regional vice president for Pathfinder International, served as a government health officer in Nigeria, and taught at Boston University School of Public Health. Dr. Ajayi has served on numerous occasions as technical advisor and program evaluator for the US Agency for International Development, the World Health Organization, and several other United Nations agencies and private foundations. Dr. Ajayi served as a board member for the Africa Health and Population Research Center, which he helped establish, and as chair of the advisory committee on access for the International Partnership for Microbicides.

Henry Burkitt, Director.  Henry is a London-based professional lobbyist and government affairs specialist, with a primary focus on healthcare and life sciences.  His clients have included a number of pharmaceutical companies, health charities and UK National Health Service bodies.  He is currently responsible for managing the primary care and oncology government affairs portfolios for Pfizer in the UK.  He has previously served as Head of Government Affairs and Policy for Novartis Pharmaceuticals in the UK, as an account manager for a major UK communications company, and as a Parliamentary Researcher for two Members of Parliament.  Henry is the great nephew of Denis Burkitt, the physician who identified and first documented the incidence of Burkitt's lymphoma.

Steven J. Kussick, MD, PhD , Director.  Dr. Kussick is Associate Medical Director and Director of Hematopathology & Flow Cytometry at PhenoPath Laboratories in Seattle, Washington, where he has been a fulltime hematopathologist since 2005.  Dr. Kussick is co-chair of BLFA’s Medical Advisory Committee and is heading up the organization's Pathology Improvement Project.  Dr. Kussick earned his MD/PhD from the University of Washington’s Medical Scientist Training Program.  Dr. Kussick did both Anatomic Pathology residency training and Hematopathology fellowship training at the University of Washington, where he was a fulltime faculty member in Laboratory Medicine from 1998 to 2005; he remains an affiliate faculty member in Laboratory Medicine.  Dr. Kussick is an active member of a number of professional organizations, including the American Society of Hematology, the College of American Pathologists, and the International Clinical Cytometry Society.  

Margaret Larson, Director. Margaret is a 30-year veteran of broadcast journalism, most notably as a foreign correspondent at NBC News, news anchor on the Today Show, and correspondent at Dateline NBC. As a video producer and communications strategist, she has consulted for World Vision, Mercy Corps, Global Partnerships, the Opus Foundation, and PATH, among others. Her journalism and humanitarian work has taken her to overseas emergencies ranging from the South Asian tsunami and the Kosovo refugee crisis to the Afghan/Pakistan border and the Iraq war. Margaret has won four Emmys, a national Society of Professional Journalist award, two Clarions, and been named "Best Voice for Humanitarianism" by the Seattle Weekly newspaper. In addition to her nonprofit work, Margaret recently returned to the broadcast world and hosts a daily one-hour talk show on KING-TV in Seattle.

Paula McGee, Director. Paula holds the position of corporate securities paralegal at Nordstrom. She has spent the past 25 years working in the regulatory compliance field, specifically for public corporations. She has also been corporate secretary and been actively involved with corporate boards. Paula's work experience has been focused on regulatory compliance for public companies - especially SEC compliance. In this capacity she managed projects with serious deadlines, wrote and edited reporting documents (particularly with an eye to making the information accessible and understandable by the public).." Paula has been a consultant for a local non-profit, volunteered with the Girl Scouts, been a foster parent and provided volunteer care for the elderly.

Karen Osofsky Michelson, Director. Karen currently chairs the Grants Committee for BLFA. Karen is a Talent Acquisition Strategist and currently serves as an independent recruitment consultant with clients such as  Group Health Cooperative, Integrated Diagnostics, Entomo and a variety of other small organizations.  She is also a Brand Partner with Nerium International. Karen is a graduate of Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, where she earned an MBA in Marketing, Finance.  She earned a BS from Cornell University.   Previously Karen served as Associate Director, Staffing for ICOS Corpopration; Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition for, and Global Staffing Manager for PATH.  Additionally Karen spent 8 years in consumer products marketing working for Ralston Purina in St. Louis and Keebler in Chicago. 

Adam Morrow, MPH, Director.  Adam is currently studying medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.  He previously served as a Policy Director with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, focusing on ways to improve overall access to health care, and formerly as a Program Manager in Regional Emergency Planning with the New York City Office of Emergency Management.  Adam also has worked with the Los Angeles County Public Health Department and as a Research Associate with the City of Hope Cancer Research Center (Duarte, CA). Adam holds a Master of Public Health in Health Policy from Columbia University.

Thor Tyson, Director. Thor is a student at the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. He holds a Masters Degree from the University of Washington and has served on numerous boards and grant committees in the Seattle area, including Social Venture Partners, the Social Justice Fund and Groundswell Northwest.


Mailing address:


P.O. Box 20521

Seattle WA 98102 USA

Telephone:  +1.206.527.9746

Fax:  +1.206.527.2051