Putting Rare Diseases Patients First!® is run by a Board of Directors. Our Board members are shown on this page. The Board of Directors governs the non profit charity using accepted governance principles. We meet approximately once per month to discuss the goals of the organization.

If you have an interest in serving patients with rare diseases, or if you have a rare disease, or have a child with a rare disease, and would like to be involved with the organization, we would like to hear from you.  Please email LSPEID@PRDPF.ORG with BOARD POSITIONS in the subject line. Someone will contact you to follow-up.


Lorna Speid, Ph.D., M.R.Pharm.S., Founder and President

Dr. Speid is registered as a Pharmacist with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. She has worked in the pharmaceutical industry since 1988. She earned her Ph.D. by conducting research into the safety assessment of medicines. Dr. Speid’s book Clinical Trials: What Patients and Healthy Volunteers Need to Know, was written to empower patients and healthy volunteers in the clinical trial process.  It is published by Oxford University Press.

Dr. Speid has been involved with several different drug development programs for rare diseases. She has a strong interest in developing new treatments for patients with rare diseases and is actively working on this endeavor with others of like mind.


Leah Rihela, BBA, CPA, CGA, Treasurer

Leah is an accountant working for a large public practice firm in Vancouver, BC. She completed her Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CGA) designation in 2015. She brings a diverse background of financial statement preparation and is responsible for the reporting requirements of the organization. Leah became interested in becoming involved with PRDPF! because of her family history with a rare disease.


Three Open Positions — VP of Marketing, VP of Public Relations and VP of Social Media

This position is open and we are looking to fill it. Learn more about this position here.

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