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About Us

This organization is named in honor and in celebration of the founders’ grandson, Avery Harris, who was born with Microvillus Inclusion Disease. In 2016 we had the first Avery’s Hope Charity Bicycle Ride. We thought that we would have a bike ride every year to raise money. Instead, we chose to get our 501(c)(3) status and we have grown to not only raise money, but to raise awareness and advocate on behalf of the rare pediatric GI patient community.

Meet Avery

Avery was born September 7, 2014 in Hackettstown, NJ. After what seemed like a healthy delivery it became clear that Avery was not thriving and needed medical help. After three months at a local hospital NICU he was transported to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where they were better able to manage his care. The majority of Avery’s first and second year of life was spent on the 5th floor at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with all the other GI patients. Avery’s grandparents realized how many other kids and their families were suffering, not only with their child’s illness but with all of the financial burdens as well, and they wanted to try and make a difference. Avery’s Hope was born.

Microvillus inclusion disease is very rare and has to be genetically inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. Symptoms develop shortly after birth and can lead to infancy death. It is characterized by an inability of the intestines to absorb nutrients. Without total dependence on parenternal nourishment, children would suffer from malnutrition, dehydration, and slow growth development. A recent long term option is organ transplants. Fortunately, Avery is currently not in need of transplantation and is doing well. Hope!

Meet Our Team

Caryl Harris

Co-Founder &
Executive Director

Caryl Harris co-founded Avery’s Hope with her husband Eric. Named for their beautiful, and beautifully rare, grandson.

Caryl holds an M.A. in English Literature from Rutgers University and has an A.B.A. from the Department of Education.

Caryl is a member of the National Organization for Rare Disorders and is a representative for Avery’s Hope with the EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases, the Global Genes Rare Patient Alliance and is in the Delegate Program of Patients Rising. Caryl is also a Founding Member of WRAP – Worldwide Rare Advocacy Partnership. 

Caryl is an avid cyclist, an artist, a wife, a mom to three amazing young men, a grandma, and “Ya Ya”; to an amazing young man battling Microvillus Inclusion Disease.

Carie Chester

Board President

Carie Chester was born and raised in NJ, where she lives today with her beloved husband, Pete, and dog, Bubba. They are the light of her life.

Carie holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from Clemson University (Go Tigers!).

Carie joined the Association of Certified Professional Accountants in 2005. She is also the operational lead for ADA accommodations for CPA Exam candidates.

In her free time, Carie enjoys exploring her two river towns, traveling, working out, and spending as much time with friends and family as possible.

Eric Harris

Co-Founder, Vice President & Avery's Pop Pop

Eric Harris received his BS in Business Administration at SUNY Albany in 1979 and his MSW from Rutgers School of Social Work in 1981. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

Eric has been employed with Family and Community Services of Somerset County in various capacities since 1981. His titles included mental health and family clinician, Clinical Supervisor, Clinical Director and in 1994 he became Executive Director.

Eric has also spent the last 25 years coaching youth sports. He and his wife Caryl have been married for 33 years and have 3 adult sons and Avery is their first grandson.

Tom Corrigan

Treasurer & Founding Board Member

Tom has been involved with Avery’s Hope since 2016, when he began volunteering, fundraising and training for the organization’s first namesake century cycling ride. While training for his first 100 mile bike ride, Tom developed an intense love of cycling and realized the impact an organization like Avery’s Hope can have on families with children living with rare diseases.

After his first century ride, Tom’s involvement with Avery’s Hope grew in 2017, when he officially took the position of member and Treasurer for the organization’s founding Board of Directors.  He brings experience as both a certified public accountant and a finance leader with over 20 years of experience in the life sciences industry.

Not only does Tom bring solid financial experience to the organization, he also brings a love of sport and serving others that training for the Avery’s Hope ride helped foster in him.  His passion and dedication are his driving forces in achieving the goals and carrying on the mission of Avery’s Hope.

Parul Mehta

Secretary

Parul Mehta has a background in Accounting, Finance, and IT and is working as a Senior Consultant for Analysis Prime where she manages software implementations.  Parul is a graduate of Lehigh University with a B.S. in Accounting and Computer Science and holds an M.B.A. from New York University.

Being of service has been a central tenet in Parul’s life for the past 20 years, whether it’s mission trips abroad, volunteering and fundraising for local charities, or organizing community events, her focus is on taking care of others. She has volunteered with Avery’s Hope since 2018.

Parul lives in Monmouth Junction, NJ and enjoys traveling, cycling, kayaking, and paddle boarding.

sam

Sam Chung

Board Member

Sam is an Associate Psychometrician at the Association of Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA) and is responsible for data analyses, test assemblies, and test assembly research for the CPA Exam.

Her passion to become a doer and contribute more to the community is a motivation to get involved in Avery’s Hope.  Sam grew up in Seoul, South Korea, and came to the United States to pursue her master’s degree in Michigan. She currently lives in East Bay, California and enjoys watching her kids’ soccer games and hiking in the beautiful sceneries of Northern California in her free time.

James Dunn

Board Member

James was born and raised in southern New Jersey, moved to NYC for 25 years, and recently relocated to Stockton, New Jersey in 2017. During his time in NYC, he and his husband, Sam, had a weekend home in New Hope, Pennsylvania. During their visits to New Hope, they met and became friends with Caryl and Eric Harris. Caryl was the one who helped train and coach James and Sam for their first charity bike ride from Boston to NYC in 2014 for Housing Works.

Before retiring in 2017, James was the founder and CEO of Amici Accessories Ltd., established in 1997. 

Robert Fasinski

Board Member

Bob has been active in local organizations for much of his life. He has coached recreation sports in his community. He was a financial manager of multiple local political campaign committees in Readington Twp. He was a Flemington Falcons Pop Warner football coach for 10 years. Bob managed the Hattie Fasinski Scholarship Fund, established in his mother’s name that annually awarded a scholarship to a graduating Watchung Hills Regional High School senior who resided in Green Brook.

He has been a volunteer at Flemington Area Food Pantry since 2018 and he has volunteered and participated in Avery’s Hope fundraising events. 

Bob has two adult children and two adult step children (maybe grandchildren soon??).  He loves to ride his bike, especially on trails, play golf, enjoy live music performances and cook for family and friends.

 

Jake Harris

Board Member & Avery's Uncle

Jake graduated from West Chester University in 2017 and decided to stay in the greater Philadelphia area. 

He is currently working for a technology company – Phenom People. 

Getting involved in Avery’s Hope was always a goal to try to help every family in need. Becoming a board member allows him to spread awareness and have a true impact within the community. 

Elaine Huber, M.D.

Board Member

Dr. Elaine Huber has been a board-certified OB/GYN for over 30 years.  Her education, training and experience enable her to provide diagnosis and treatment of a full range of women’s health issues.  With Dr. Huber, you’ll receive the kind of personalized, one-on-one care that only small practices can provide.

For the past 30+ years, she has taken pride in helping women feel healthy, happy and beautiful—inside and out. Many of her patients have trusted her with their medical care, and the care of their family members, for decades.

Helping women stay vital and strong to pursue the activities they love is one of the best parts of her job.  Dr. Huber herself enjoys snowboarding, running,  road and mountain biking, hiking and Pilates!

Daniel Jordan

Board Member

Dan is a senior executive for Safari Energy, a clean energy company with services across the US.  He is passionate about the environment and has worked in the clean energy sector for over 20 years.  He is a licensed engineer and has a background in finance and accounting.  He serves as a PADI Divemaster teaching Scuba students, mentoring divers and safely leading dive tours.  He is also an avid cyclist and former racer who participates in many charity rides including Avery’s Hope fundraising events.

Working in underdeveloped nations, Dan has seen what it is like to not have access to health care, and is aware that good healthcare, like good health, is not something to take for granted.  Thus his passion to serve on the Board of Avery’s Hope and continue serving the health and well-being of others.

Lisa Jordan

Founding Board Member

Lisa Jordan has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Northeastern University.

When she moved to New Jersey she became involved with local and regional nonprofit organizations.  She has held positions as development director, event manager and marketing specialist at The Stony Brook Millstone Watershed, The Women and AIDS Network and Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space.  

Currently, she is a license New Jersey Realtor assisting her clients with buying and selling their homes in Central New Jersey.

She has been an Avery’s Hope Board Member at Large since its inception in 2016.
 Lisa currently lives in Hopewell, New Jersey with her husband Daniel, two cats and a big white dog. She loves traveling with Daniel, hiking, bike riding and walking their dog Lilly

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