• About Us

    The Dysautonomia Information Network (DINET) is a volunteer run 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

    Contact DINET at: staff@dinet.org or write to:

    Dysautonomia Information Network
    PO Box 2642
    Buffalo, NY 14240

    Board of Directors:
    President: 
    Vice President:    Michelle Sawicki
    Secretary:            Sarah Abraham
    Treasurer:            Ellen Driscoll
    General Member: Michael Blaney
     
     

    DINET's Board of Directors is in need of a President

     

    The responsibilities of the President include providing direction and support for promotion and fundraising projects geared to raise awareness and educate the public about dysautonomia.  The President should have a good understanding of POTS and the other dysautonomias featured on DINET.org, and should aid the Board of Directors in staying abreast of the latest medical advances.  The President works with the board to provide support to DINET’s volunteer staff and to help develop new features, policies and structure to the services volunteers provide to its members.  DINET’s President will lead monthly board meetings to provide supervision and suggestions to move projects forward.  A strong candidate for this role is someone who has been a DINET member or has a strong understanding of DINET’s mission and how we differ from other organizations serving the dysautonomia community. Solid computer skills (email, web searches, social media) are essential.  Fundraising, grant writing and non-profit experience are greatly beneficial but not required. A willingness to adhere to DINET’s dictate of using only evidence based medical information is required. A willingness to promote dysautonomia education, support and networking is also required,.  

    This role is vital to the success of DINET.  A person with strong leadership skills as well as a strong work ethic is needed to be our next President.  If you are dedicated to helping the dysautonomia community and believe you are a good fit to be our next President, please contact dinetandforuminfo@dinet.org

     
     

     
     
    Meet our Board of Directors and Just a Few of our Volunteers..
     

     
          Michelle Sawicki, Vice President
     
     

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    Michelle Sawicki lives in Missouri with her husband, three dogs and two cats.  She earned a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in Psychology.  She currently works as a Reference Department Manager in a large, public library system.  She developed POTS in 1999.  Frustrated by the lack of available resources on this disorder, she created the website potsplace.com in April 2002. She then founded the Dysautonomia Information Network (DINET) in 2003.  At that time, the POTS Place website contents were merged with expanded information available through the Dysautonomia Information Network. Michelle served as president of DINET from 2003-2011. When not working, Michelle enjoys hiking, reading, researching, boating, gardening and spending time with her family.

     


     
     
     
    Ellen Driscoll, Treasurer, Newsletter Manager, Webmaster
     
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    Ellen lives in New Hampshire with her husband Jeff, her yellow lab, Winston, and her crazy cat, Cosmo. She enjoyed a long and successful career in newspaper and web publishing before leaving her profession to better cope with her illnesses. Ellen's scoliosis was discovered when she was 18, followed by a Lupus diagnosis at 20. She began having symptoms of autonomic failure immediately following extensive spine surgery in 2010. Even though Ellen came out of anesthesia with immediate signs that something was wrong, it still took another 3 years before the words dysautonomia and POTS were mentioned. After discovering dinet.org and reading other survivor's stories on the forum, Ellen began volunteering. She is very happy to put her professional skills to use and help DINET thrive. She is reminded everyday that life is sweet by spending time with her family and the loves of her life - her three granddaughters, Jordan, Remy and Avery. One of the biggest adjustments has been leaving behind an athletic life, but new hobbies fill that time and keep her busy. Gardening, walks in the woods with Winston, cooking, sewing and an occasional ride on the ATV are all things she looks forward to on good days. On quiet days you'll find her reading and writing.

     


     

    Michael Blaney, General Board Member, Newsletter Designer, Forum Ambassador 

    MichaelBlaney_BioPic.pngMichael Blaney lives in Chicago, Illinois with his beautiful dog Emma. While attending college at the University of San Diego he began suffering from numerous symptoms related to both migraine with aura as well as POTS. The journey for a POTS diagnosis was slow and hard to come by. Only with a downturn in symptoms were doctors lead to believe that the head rushes, episodic nausea, and exercise intolerance might be signs of autonomic problems. Though suffering since 2009, a diagnosis of POTS was officially made in 2012 through a full patient history and tilt table test. He discovered the DINET forum and used the knowledge base and support from other sufferers to help learn more about his own condition. As time went on he pursued volunteer work with DINET as a way to give back to the community that continued to help him on a daily basis, and to help support fellow sufferers through their own struggles. Today Michael is a graphic design and electronic musician, and an active member of DINET.

     


     
    Sarah Abraham, Secretary, Forum Administration, Web Support
     

    V__505F(5).jpgSarah lives in Upstate, NY and is engaged to her fiancé, Tim, a police officer. She has 3 dogs: a great dane and 2 yorkies. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and friends the most. She has a degree in Child Development from Empire State and enjoyed coaching cheerleading for many years. While working in the special education field, she began having debilitating migraines and POTS symptoms. Through the persistence of her local doctor she was diagnosed with hyperadrenergic POTS. She travels to the Cleveland Clinic for treatment and continues to make great progress. Sarah has POTS (hyperadrenergic), Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia, and Chronic Migraine. She also volunteers at a local migraine support group. In addition to serving on DINET's Board of Directors, she's a Forum Moderator & Admin. Sarah is grateful for the opportunity to work with her fellow volunteers and all of our members. These opportunities give her a deep appreciation of how DINET truly seeks to impact and improve the quality of life for its members and is proud to be a part of its mission.  

     
     

     Corina Rietbroek, Forum Moderator
     

    corina-fb.jpgCorina Rietbroek is happily married to John. They have two sons, and a new dog who was recently added to their family! Corina was diagnosed with POTS in 2002. When her husband found her the DINET website (when it was called POTSplace), she became a huge fan, and it made her feel so much less alone. As she's not able to hold a job due to dysautonomia, she's very happy to volunteer here at DINET!

     
     
     
     
     

     
     
     
    Judith Pettibone, Newsletter Editor
     
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    Judith is a parent of two daughters, one of whom has just been recently diagnosed with POTS after a six year long search. She is an Occupational Therapist by training and a professional writer. She is working on a book about The Colorado Boys Ranch and is a regular columnist in her small town paper. Her particular interest lies in the challenges of caretaking as well as in the many issues raised with the medical field and how it treats the chronically ill. Judith lives in Monument, Colorado with her husband, senior in high school daughter and her college-aged daughter on those week-ends when she comes home to eat and do laundry.
     
     
    Katherine Munson, Forum Administrator
     
    Katherine holds a M.S. from the University of Maryland in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development. She works part-time as a natural resources planner for local government on Maryland's eastern shores. Katherine developed pregnancy/postpartum induced POTS with the birth of her first child in October 2002.