Cassandra Trimnell

Founder & Executive Director, Board


As founder of Sickle Cell 101, Cassandra is a passionate sickle cell advocate. Much of her dedication comes from living with sickle cell disease.


She is certified by the state of California as a Sickle Cell Educator, and she is responsible for creating the educational material and sickle cell curriculum presented by

Sickle Cell 101.


Cassandra has a B.A. in Global Studies – Social, Political, and Economic Development from Sonoma State University.

Keith Quirolo, MD

Medical Director, Board

Dr. Quirolo is an expert in sickle cell disease and thalassemia who was formally the Director of the Pediatric Sickle Cell Program and the Apheresis Program at UCSF Benioff’s Children’s Hospital Oakland.


He received his undergraduate at San Francisco State University as a nursing assistant and following a degree in biology went to nursing school at the UCSF School of Nursing.


Following graduation he worked as a hematology-oncology nurse in San Francisco, and attended Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. Following medical school he completed a pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital Oakland and joined a pediatric practice in Berkeley. Continuing to have a desire to care for children outside of his practice, he worked in the urgent care center at Children’s Hospital.


After about ten years of pediatric practice he joined the hematology department at what is now UCSF Benioff’s Children’s Hospital in Oakland.  Initially he was the pediatrician for sickle cell and thalassemia patients eventually becoming the director of the pediatric sickle cell program.  With a desire to provide red cell exchange for patients with sickle cell disease, he started the apheresis program at the hospital, which expanded to become a comprehensive apheresis unit providing all types of apheresis therapy.  Wanting to become more educated about red cell transfusion he completed a fellowship in Transfusion Medicine through the Pathology Department at UCSF School of Medicine.

Angela Ehrlich



Angela's passion for sickle cell advocacy and education stems from her being a mother of five– two with sickle cell disease and two with sickle cell trait.


She is currently a principal at Lincoln Elementary School in Newark, California. Being an educator has given her an immense amount of experience on how to educate others about sickle cell. Angela has also done sickle cell counseling.


Angela has a M.A. in Educational Leadership and Administration from Iowa State University, and a M.A. in Guidance Counseling/ Human growth & Development from the University of Iowa.

Markus Kothner



Markus is an avid supporter of educating and raising awareness for sickle cell. As a loving husband of a sickle cell warrior, he wholeheartedly aligns with Sickle Cell 101's mission.


Markus is currently a project manager at Mercedes Benz Research and Development North America, but in his free time he volunteers his time to sickle cell projects and events. He also serves as an advisor for Sickle Cell 101.


Markus is also fluent in French, German, and Dutch for international collaborations regarding sickle cell.

Essence Jaime, MSW

Director of Community Relations

Development Coordinator


Essence Jaime, MSW, has been a supporter of Sickle Cell 101 since its establishment in 2013.


A fervent advocate for health empowerment through community engagement, Essence's goal in partnering with Sickle Cell 101 is to simplify the process through which those living with sickle cell, and their families, gain greater control over decisions and actions affecting their health.


Her professional background in macro social work and multicultural education inform her work with this vulnerable population.


Essence is also fluent in Spanish and French for Spanish and French speaking populations affected by sickle cell.

Stephen Agyenim-Boateng

Curriculum Advisor, Sickle Cell Trait Educator


Stephen is a passionate advocate for sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait. His passion stems from his sister living with sickle cell disease and him being a sickle cell trait carrier.


He has completed a clinical rotation at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN with a major focus on sickle cell and hematology. His current research focus area is in sickle cell trait.


Stephen will be graduating in May 2017 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Idaho State University College of Pharmacy.

Brandy Morgan

Director of Community Outreach and Engagement


Brandy Morgan is a dedicated and passionate member of the sickle cell community, who is driven by the loss of a loved one to sickle cell disease.


She is certified by the Department of Public Health as a Sickle Cell Educator, and has worked in the health services field for four years. In addition, she has an educational background in Sociology, as well as, Psychology.


Brandy also sat as a member of the Sickle Cell Community Advisory Council of Northern California, and has collaborated on multiple community events to assist in raising awareness for sickle cell.

Chris Trotman

Social Media Manager


Chris’s passion for raising sickle cell awareness comes from his own experience in living with Sickle C Disease (hgb SC). He is an only child and the eldest member in his extended family with the disease.


Chris is currently a student at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland and plans to pursue a Bachelors degree next year. Along with classmates, Chris takes the initiative to raise awareness in his workplace and with customers he interacts with.


Chris was the only boy scout in his troop to have sickle cell and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout along with his peers, showing that sickle cell won't stop him from achieving goals that challenge most.