In Their Own Words
Board of Directors
Board President/Chair: Dr. Katie Braddock
“I have always had a passion for animals and for helping people. I joined Plum Creek Veterinary Services in the summer of 2010. I enjoy hiking, camping, biking, and skiing with my husband, John, and our dogs Apollo, and Zeus. I also have two cats, Anton and Shannon, as well as a horse, Darley Sue, three Longhorn cattle, and four chickens.
I grew up in Aurora, Colorado and spent many hours volunteering and working at veterinary practices in the area. I attended college at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts and earned a Bachelor of Science with High Distinction in Biochemistry in 2005. I attended Colorado State University for veterinary school and graduated in 2009, and went on to complete a rotating internship in medicine and surgery at the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph, Ontario, Canada from 2009-2010.
I have found being on the board of KarmaSue to be very rewarding so far. I have enjoyed getting to meet and support the KarmaSue families, as well as assisting with the education and counseling workshops. I most recently took on the role of Board President, and look forward to having further impact on this organization. I participated in the Pet Hospice program while at CSU, as well as training through the Argus Institute. I have a strong professional interest in oncology, as well as a personal interest from having many pets with cancer, the most recent being my Doberman, Bailey, who I lost in 2015.”
Treasurer: Melissa McNichols
“I am a Denver native and have an MBA. I love to be outdoors or spending time catching up with friends when I find free time. I like to read mystery books, listen to podcasts, or during cold months you will find me in the kitchen baking sweet treats.
I found myself adopting two dogs after 9/11 when a friend of mine enlisted in the Marines. They were my first companion animals and they were very patient with me. They sure did teach me a lot about myself: patience, understanding, and unconditional love, among so many other things. I have lost both parents to cancer. The thought of having our best friends and companions go through this is heartbreaking. KarmaSue is an amazing support of services to our community!
I have worked in accounting for over 15 years. I have always admired the multiple facets of the business world – from Marketing to Human Resources, but Accounting is my comfort zone. I have worked with KarmaSue on the fundraising committee. It is an honor to be able to sit on the KarmaSue Board of Directors as the Treasurer. Their compassion for the human-animal connection goes beyond anything that words can express. I am proud to be a part of this beautiful group of people and cannot wait to see what the future holds for this great cause!”
Secretary: Colleen Waite
“Hello! I’m Colleen. I’m a Colorado native and have been doing my ‘day job’ as a software developer for over 25 years. I’ve also been a volunteer with a local dog rescue for 13 years. My hobbies include cooking and baking, hiking, being lazy and watching TV, and almost anything to do with animals. My love of animals started when I was very, very young. I always thought I wanted to be a veterinarian until I realized I am very squeamish around “blood and guts.” 😉 But I have always had pets. Dogs, cats, gerbils, goldfish, a mouse, and a guinea pig. I am currently “mom” to two golden retrievers, Tucker, and Apollo, and three cats, Cricket, Noelle, and Oliver.
I have often heard golden retrievers described as ‘little tumor factories,’ and having had several of them over the years, I’ve unfortunately seen many of my sweet dogs succumb to cancer. Hemangiosarcoma (splenic and cardiac), lymphoma, osteosarcoma, kidney cancer, and adrenal cancer have all taken one or more of my dogs. I had one dog who had to have a toe removed because of a squamous cell carcinoma. I also lost a cat to lymphoma just last year. I am very familiar with the ins and outs of having sick pets and, especially, pets with cancer. I know how devastating and confusing the diagnosis and treatment can be, and how expensive it is as well. I hope that as a board member of KarmaSue, my experiences can be of help, in one way or another, to pet families going through this struggle. I’m honored to be a part of KarmaSue!”
General Board Member: Dr. Karen Oberthaler
Dr. Karen Oberthaler is a board-certified veterinary oncologist and a diplomate of the American College of Internal Medicine in Oncology. She is the owner of Treeline Veterinary Cancer Care, a small boutique patient-centric Oncology practice in Boulder, Colorado.
Dr. Oberthaler graduated magna cum laude from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 2002. Following graduation she completed a rotating internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at the Animal Medical Center in New York City in 2003. She then returned to Philadelphia for an Oncology residency at the University of Pennsylvania, which she completed in 2006. Dr. Oberthaler also obtained her undergraduate degree in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
Prior to moving to Colorado, Dr. Oberthaler was a practicing oncologist in New York City and Miami for 13 years. In 2019 she joined VCA’s Veterinary Specialists of Northern Colorado and then started Treeline Veterinary Cancer Care in 2020. Her clinical interests include Lymphoma, Osteosarcoma, Mast Cell Tumors, Hemangiosarcoma, and bladder cancer. Additionally, she is interested in cancer prevention and palliative care. In her free time Dr. Oberthaler loves skiing, running, exploring mountain towns, and is a potter!
“I am thrilled to join the KarmaSue team. Throughout my career as an oncologist I have relied on the support of different foundations like KarmaSue for both financial and emotional/grief support for my clients. I could not do what I do in the clinics if there wasn’t a caring network of people willing to donate their time and help the community of pet owners. KarmaSue has helped my clients immeasurably in the time I’ve been practicing in Colorado. I am excited to have the opportunity to give back, and I’m looking forward to helping KarmaSue grow.”
*Immediate Past President/Chair & Advisory Subcommittee – FSP Chair: Julie Herron Weaver
“The reason that I chose to become involved in KarmaSue is because I developed an interest in canine cancer after my beloved dog, Shelby, was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2010. Shelby fought a tough battle, but did not survive when the cancer returned in 2011. Even though I had a strong support system, I know not everyone has that so I want to be able to help others when their fur babies are fighting cancer.”
Founder/Executive Director: Britton Slagle
“The stats: I have a BA in English, a BS in Psychology, and a Master of Nonprofit Management all from Regis University. I have been involved in the nonprofit sector in some capacity for over 20 years – professionally for over 10 years. I volunteer for several nonprofits including The Humane Society of the United States as a District Leader. I currently work as a contractor for several unique, mission-driven companies that make the community a better place in their own way.
The real deal: I had a big idea and made it a reality, it goes by the name of KarmaSue! I had two dogs for a very long time, Karma and Suetra. They were my life. Suetra passed away from Hemangiosarcoma in March of 2012 – that event changed my life. As I moved forward, I lost Karma in June of 2014 to kidney failure and other ailments, one of which may have been underlying cancer. Then, in September of 2015, I lost my Guinea Pig buddy, Oscar (aka Boogie); he likely had lung cancer, but we did not go through with diagnosis because it would have been too hard on his already weak body…and it would not have made a difference, unfortunately. The saying goes that grief is just extra love with nowhere to go. Well, KarmaSue is where I chose to focus my love; it now has somewhere to go. I am so grateful for this opportunity and everyone that supports our mission. Lots of love to you all.”
Do you want join the KarmaSue Team?
We have Board, committee, and floating volunteer positions available. Please fill out our KarmaSue Volunteer Application. Then, print, sign, and send the form back to us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!