The mission of the Better Life Foundation is to improve the lives of those affected with blood cancers by funding research for new treatments and supporting patient educational programs. The Foundation was founded in 2016 and has raised more than $330,000 for blood cancer research programs. The members of the Board and others associated with the Foundation continue to seek ways to increase the awareness of cancers and to help improve the lives of those affected by blood cancers. The Foundation is based in Carmichael, California.
Our Board of Directors
Founder and President
Better Life Foundation was founded in 2016 by Loel Heupel. Loel was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2006, and had a successful stem cell transplant in September 2012 at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. At that time, he committed to giving back to the people and the community that helped him beat cancer, including the physician who treated him, Dr. Joseph Tuscano of Sacramento. As a cancer survivor, Loel was given a new perspective on life, and strives for a good balance between professional and personal commitments.
Rob Brady joined the board of Better Life Foundation as the Treasurer and financial liaison. With a long history in the banking industry, Rob brings a wealth of expertise and knowledge to the team. He has been involved with the Foundation since its inception, and has been a leading supporter of the Sunday on the Green fundraising efforts.
Lynn Byington-Brady joined the board of Better Life Foundation in 2018. With a long history in the banking industry and in leadership roles on other Boards, Lynn brings her passion and tremendous skill for organization, financial tracking, and process improvement to this volunteer team. She has led the event check-in systems, silent auction logistics, and volunteer coordination for multiple Foundation fundraisers.
Kathryn (Kathy) Herrfeldt is a 22-year breast cancer survivor, and as an individual is focused on bettering the lives of those around her. Kathy is a Board Member of Joshua's House, a hospice center for homeless; an active member of the Rotary Club of Sacramento; and, a prior small business owner of Home Care Assistance of East Sacramento. Her association with Better Life Foundation began with her involvement as an annual sponsor of our annual fundraising event. She joined the board of the Better Life Foundation in 2022.
Vice President and Board Secretary
As co-founder of the Better Life Foundation, Nicki Heupel has played a significant role in establishing the Foundation and co-leading the fundraising efforts via the organization's primary annual fundraiser. With a background in marketing and communications, Nicki has contributed to the Foundation's marketing efforts and building the Sunday on the Green brand.
Dr. James Scheller is a Sacramento area physician and part-time winemaker. He brings his medical and health background expertise to the Board. James has been involved with the Foundation since its inception, and has brought the work of the Foundation to a large network of professionals and golfers in the Sacramento area who have become benefactors. James is also the proprietor of James Blake Wines.
Shari Scheller is a pediatric oncology nurse with a tremendous gift and passion for helping others. Shari has been involved with the Better Life Foundation since its inception, and along with her husband James hosted the Afternoon party of the Foundation's annual fundraiser (Sunday on the Green) at their fantastic home for five years. She has been instrumental in planning the Sunday on the Green Afternoon Party year after year, and for rallying many volunteers for the effort.