Castleman’s Awareness & Research Effort ("CARE") and the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network ("CDCN") joined forces in 2012. We are fully integrated. One organization. One mission: cure Castleman disease. We are a California-based, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with an office in Philadelphia, PA. We use the name "Castleman Disease Collaborative Network." We are led by a dedicated Board of Directors.


Greg Pacheco, Co-Founder & Board President, is the Vice President of Operations at BH&TF Inc and a Castleman disease survivor. Greg was diagnosed with Multicentric Castleman Disease in June 2004 and co-Founded CARE in 2006. Greg was President of the Native Sons of the Golden West (NSGW) Parlor 150 from 2005 - 2007 and Chairman and district representative for School Site Council 2009 - 2011. He has utilized his extensive background in business administration, nonprofit organization, and public administration to lead CARE's efforts to raise over $100,000 for Castleman disease research as Treasurer (2007-2011), Vice President (2011), and currently President (2012-present). Greg graduated with a Business Degree from Heald College in 1992.

JC Diefenderfer, Board Vice President, is a winemaker in Paso Robles. JC grew up with Greg Pacheco and considers Greg to be more like a brother than a friend. JC first heard of Castleman disease when Greg began his battle with idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease, and he struggled to find information about the disease.  JC was thrilled to be one of the founding members of the CARE board to help advance treatments and awareness for Castleman disease. JC is proud to be a part of the board still and looks forward to being able to touch more and help more as the organization grows.

Charlyn Pacheco, Co-Founder & Board Secretary

Michael Stief, Treasurer, is also the Operations Manager at Black's Hatchery & Turkey Farm, a privately owned and operated hotel group in Paso Robles, California. He grew up with Castleman disease (CD) survivor, Greg Pacheco, and joined the Board in 2012 to help fight back against CD. He is passionate about helping the organization and Castleman disease patients in any way possible, particularly through helping to raise awareness of CD. Before Black's, Michael worked for almost 20 years in the automotive business with a focus on insurance and auditing. 

Kim Driscoll, Board member

David Fajgenbaum, MD, MBA, MSc, Co-Founder, Executive Director, & Board member

Bette Jacobs, PhD, Board member, is a Professor, Health Systems Administration at Georgetown University; Distinguished Scholar and co-founder at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law; and a Fellow and Visiting Professor at Campion Hall University of Oxford. A Native American whose body of work spans community, academic, service, and corporate leadership, she is recognized for contributions in successful start-ups, financial integrity, and interdisciplinary innovations. She served with distinction as Dean for the Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies for 11 years overseeing unprecedented programmatic growth within the University. Previous executive experience includes vice presidency for Honda of America Manufacturing; founding faculty member and Associate Director of Applied Research at the Civitan International Research Center; and Acting Dean of Graduate Studies and Research at California State University.

Kevin Silk, JD, Board member, is an Associate at Dechert LLP, where he focuses his practice on corporate and securities matters, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and capital markets transactions, public company reporting obligations under federal securities laws and guidance on corporate governance matters. Kevin received his JD from Georgetown University Law Center and his BA from Boston College.


CARE was founded in 2006 by patient advocate, Greg Pacheco, and his wife, Charlyn Pacheco, to raise funds and awareness for Castleman disease research. The funds raised provided seed money to start the first-ever research lab dedicated to studying HHV-8-negative Multicentric Castleman disease, which was named the Gregory Pacheco Laboratory for Castleman's Research. When Drs. Fajgenbaum and van Rhee set out to create the CDCN to expand research, collaboration, and fundraising on a global scale in August 2012, they decided to join together with CARE to build on the impressive seven-year history of the organization.