Meet The Team
Cody Sanders, President
Cody was born and raised in a small mountain town in central California, and understood MPS from the start. She was blessed with a older sister named Tiffany who was born with MPS III. Visiting hospitals, specialists, and care facilities seemed like a normal thing to do. As she grew older Cody began to realize that this was not normal, but her sister was one in a million. Literally.
Later in life Cody decided it was time to get a companion. She really wanted a puppy. Cody searched through hundreds of dogs on craigslist until she found the perfect little puppy. He was in a litter with 3 other dogs and she just knew she had to have him. When she went to pick him up she was hoping the entire way that he would still be available. When she arrived she was surprised to find he was the only dog left and the exact one she wanted. It was meant to be. Little did she know, as her new dog Vader grew he began to show signs of having a condition as well.
Tiffany Sanders passed away in November of 2014. Later that year it was discovered that Vader also had a form of MPS. Tests later confirmed that Vader was one in a million as well.
Having first hand experience with MPS-III and MPS-VI gives Cody a unique perspective into this degenerative condition and how it can affect families and loved ones. Cody herself has opted not to have children in order to avoid passing on the MPS-III gene.
However, having the gene herself does not preclude her from bringing awareness and support to the families of those affected by MPS. Shortly after Vader’s passing in February of 2016 Cody formed the MPS Army Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to eradicating MPS in animals.
In the first 6 short months, MPS Army Foundation gained traction by assisting over 20 families with MPS afflicted animals and has now grown to over 30. Additionally, the MPS Army has began working with breeders across the country to test and certify MPS prone animals as being MPS-gene free.
As the years go on, Cody and her army will continue their work until MPS is eradicated in animals. If you would like to join the battle please contact us at www.mpsarmy.org to find out how you could get involved.
Jamal Kirtman, Vice President
Brittany Johnson, Secretary
Brittany Currently resides in California's Central Valley.
After graduating college from California State University Northridge with her Bachelor's Degree in Deaf Studies, Brittany decided to stay in the LA area for a few more years. Brittany knew at that time she wanted to adopt a cute fur baby to follow her around. That's when she met Tucker, a cute 6 month old albino puppy with bright blue eyes, who would go on to melt every heart he came into contact. Tucker later became known as TuckerWearsGoggles by people around the world.
Brittany adopted Tucker in July of 2014 and from that point forward she knew that little pup would change her life forever. It only took a few days into Brittany having Tucker that she started noticing small delays and abnormalities in his development. After 5 different vets and finally 1 specialist, Tucker was diagnosed to have MPS-VI. Brittany started doing her research on the disorder and from there came into contact through social media with other moms who also had pups living with MPS.
Through research, closely observing Tuckers responses and mobility, and from the helpful communication and friendship she developed from the other moms, Brittany was able to watch Tucker live an amazing life of 4 and a half years. She witnessed his strength and perseverance every single day as did other through social media where he gained followers and fans from around the world.
Since Tucker's paassing in November of 2017, Brittany continues him memory through his social media accounts and assistance with the MPS Army Foundation as much as possible.
Yvette Cumberland, Treasurer
Yvette joins us from the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her Bachelors Degree in Business from the University of Redlands in San Diego before moving up north to Sacramento.
She is a mom to Barry Allen and Bella Roku, who gained her angel wings in January 2017 from MPS-VI. Yvette and her husband discovered Bella had MPS-VI in the Summer of 2016. It took about 2 years to correctly diagnose Bella. Yvette and her family were originally nervous to test Bella as the fate of MPS-VI is not hopeful. After much contemplation, Bella's test results were submitted.
Despite learning Bella was MPS-VI positive, she lived a life full of love and adventure. After Bella's passing, Yvette joined MPS Army as a volunteer to assist with spreading awareness and connecting families with resources to assist with caring for a MPS dog.
Carlei Yankus, Social Media Expert
Hi everyone! My name is Carlei and I am so excited to join MPS Army Foundation as their new Social Media Expert. I'd love to share a little bit about myself so that you can get to know me, and I would love to get to know you all.
I am 21 years old and currently a senior studying Communications at a state university. I have 5 Golden Retrievers (Diesel, Sugar, Mia, Angelo, and Stella) and 1 Lhasa Apso (Daisy) - who are my everything! Angelo is a born and raised tri-pawd. He's definitely one very spoiled pup and he sure knows it!
Dogs and social media are my passions and I'm very lucky to have an opportunity where they tie into one another! MPS is such an important disease and I am determined to help spread awareness of it. One day, with help from all of us, we could eradicate it entirely.
I am very excited to learn, grow, and share with you all. Thank you, MPS Army Foundation, for allowing me to be apart of your amazing team!