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Executive Director

Monica Gelinas has been with CC4C since 2015 spanning roles across operations, volunteer management, and family services. As Cheyanna's aunt, she brings a deep passion for the mission that stems from her personal connection to CC4C's founding story.


Monica earned a B.S. in Elementary Education and an M.A. in Learning Disabilities from the University of New Mexico. She is a certified Mindful Self-Compassion Trained Teacher from the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion, Practitioner in Applied Positive Psychology from the Flourishing Center in NYC, and certified in Life Coaching from the Coach Training Alliance. Monica is also the founder of New Season New Vision Life Coaching and author of Savor the Day, an interactive journal to inspire gratitude.


She has experience working with people navigating life transitions and coaching them to move forward and embrace a flourishing life. Monica is a mother of quadruplets and this unique perspective and heart for children inspires her work every day. 


Development Director

Danelle Kemp joined the CC4C team in 2022. Danelle was born in New Mexico, raised in West Texas, and proud to call Austin home for over 25 years. She served as an elementary educator for 7 years after graduating with a master's degree in Special Education from The University of Texas at Austin. Danelle is mission-driven and has 5 years of experience as a development professional in nonprofit healthcare. Joining CC4C has allowed her to combine her skills with her passion - to care for others. She is deeply connected to CC4C’s mission because she has walked alongside her sister and niece as they navigate the rare journey. 


Danelle is a mother to two incredible girls and two incredibly sweet dogs. She and her husband love to enjoy the outdoors with friends and be of service to others.

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alison havens

Director of Programs

Alison started volunteering with CC4C through National Charity League in 2020.   The mission of CC4C spoke to her heart with her personal experiences with her oldest daughter and nephew who have rare and undiagnosed conditions.  After a few years of volunteering, she joined CC4C as the Program and Volunteer Manager.  

Alison graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. Alison has almost 20 years of teaching experience and her love and working with children is evident.  Her experience in education will help families with understanding how to navigate the school system.

Alison has lived in the Austin community for 16 years and has a passion for serving others in her church and with her family.  Alison and her husband have 2 teenage daughters and enjoy hiking in the summer in Colorado, running, and volunteering with First United Methodist Church Round Rock. 


Dream Teams & Volunteer Manager

Alicia first joined CC4C as a volunteer via the Young Men's Service League. As the mom of a child with a rare and undiagnosed condition, CC4C's mission truly resonated with her and she wanted to become more involved. After several years as a volunteer, Alicia joined CC4C as the Dream Team and Volunteer Manager.

Alicia graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in psychology and went on to earn a Master of Social Work from UT Austin. Alicia has many years of experience in the community and is excited to put her heart for service to work at CC4C. She understands the rare and undiagnosed journey and hopes to help provide the support that would have been so helpful to her own family. 

Alicia has lived in the Austin area for 25 years and enjoys life with her husband and 2 sons. She enjoys hiking, being outdoors, volunteering, and checking out estate sales.

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monina mercado

Director of Operations

Monina Mercado has rejoined CC4C as the Director of Operations where she will help administrate and coordinate operations, policies, training, and web site design and assist with board governance.  Monina started with CC4C in 2017 as a volunteer then joined the team as the Director of Operations & Volunteers until September 2022.

Monina has over 30 years of Human Resources and operations experience in the hotel, apartment living and oil & gas industry, working with Marriott International, Camden and Southern Cross Properties.

Monina’s family is from Bolivia and speaks, reads, and writes in Spanish.  Her favorite hobby is travel and then meeting new people from around the world.

Monina has recently moved back to the Houston area because she and her husband love to live near the water.  She is very happy to be back working for CC4C too!


Development Coordinator

Heather first joined CC4C as a volunteer and VIP advocate.  After experiencing loss of a child with a rare form of cancer, she gained new perspective on life and felt led to help carry out CC4C’s mission.  She fully understands the challenging journey our families lead. Her heart for service further led her into the role of Development Coordinator.  


Born in Texas, Heather played tennis in college and graduated from University of North Texas with a Bachelor’s in Business Management. She then moved to Australia for years of adventure before moving to Austin in 2010. She loves being involved in community and making an impact. 


Heather is a mother of two beautiful children and enjoys playing tennis, traveling, and serving at Lake Hills Church. 

Heather Sanders
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