Patrick Guerre - Director/Founder
Patrick was a Water and Wastewater Operator and Utility Manager before giving up his career to become a full time caregiver for his wife Gina who suffers from CRPS and scleroderma. He has also been an artist for over 30 years.
In 2013 he started a project called 10,000 Hearts for Gina and has been working on it ever since. He has shown the work many times to raise awareness for Gina's diseases as well as shared the work with many patients and caregivers. In 2017 he was invited to show his work in Washington DC during Rare Disease Week and was so moved by everything he saw and learned, he committed to starting Kneading Hope. He wants to further his mission of raising awareness and working with patients and caregivers of not only his wife's diseases, but the rare disease community as a whole.
Kurt Marlinghaus - Vice President/Cofounder
I’ve known Pat and Gina for nearly a decade now. As Gina’s home infusion pharmacist, I made weekly phone calls to Pat to check on Gina. It was evident from the start, Pat was the ultimate caregiver for the love of his life. Over time, the professional relationship became a friendship.
Soon after he started, he loaned several hearts to our new infusion suite. Patients and their caregivers felt comforted, and often remarked about the symbols of caring on the walls. It was quite a difference from the coldness of most medical settings. When one of our most loved patients decided to go on hospice, the staff chipped in and bought a heart for Debbie. She cried when she received it. Upon coming home from the hospital for the last time, she made her family hang it close to the bed. Her daughter told me, it was the last thing she saw, before she passed away.
Pat went to Washington DC, in February of 2017, as an artist for Rare Disease Week. He called me when he got back home. “Kurt, I’m starting a non-profit and I need your help”. How could I turn down a request from this inspirational friend? Needless to say, neither of us knew what this would entail. Without saying a word, we knew, Kneading Hope is about treating the person in the patient and the person in the caregiver. We hope all that visit this site “get it”.
Gina Marie Guerre - Secretary
Gina was an Office Manager for a Real Estate and Property Management Company and before that she was an MA and a Nurse. On May 9th 2001, she was involved in a motorcycle accident. Her injuries required surgery to clean up. Within a month or two she was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), now known as Complex regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). This started to break down her immune system. This caused numerous health issues and in 2011 was diagnosed with Scleroderma of the Esophagus, Small Intestine and on her face.
Gina is a happy and positive person and helps others with CRPS and Scleroderma thru groups on Facebook (FB). Gina has always loved hearts and one day when she was in the hospital, her husband Patrick came in with 2 heart paintings for her room to cheer her up. Since that day Patrick decided that he wanted to paint 10,000 Hearts for Gina. Gina has since helped Patrick with showing the work as well as continued to support many people with CRPS and scleroderma through her facebook pages as well as in person when she can.
Tere Garcia - Director
In 1976 my family and I moved to Moorpark, California. Shortly after I met Gina, and quickly we became best friends. As young adults we lost contact for 25 years. She got married, became a nurse, and had children. I became a hairstylist and moved to San Francisco. I also got married but didn't have children. Suddenly one day I received a call from Gina's husband Pat. Gina had been searching for me for years. I was ecstatic to finally reconnect with her! I couldn't wait to see her, meet Pat and the kids. This is when I first heard of RSD/CRPS and Systemic Scleroderma. Years later I moved to Cambria, California when I separated from my husband. Gina and Pat invited me with open arms into their home. At that time Gina was given a prognosis of only one more year of life to live.
Four years later she is still fighting the fight to find a cure for both diseases. Gina is my hero! I've witnessed her go through so much pain and suffering, but still she fights for the cause and for all those who suffer as well. "KNEADING HOPE" is close to my heart!