Who We Are
The Riedel & Cody Fund Mission
Our mission is to provide financial and emotional support as well as up-to-date information for anyone whose pet has cancer. This mission is supported by the RCF Financial Aid Fund and through services provided on the RCF website.
Membership in The Riedel & Cody Fund community is free. Anyone whose pet has cancer or who is interested in the topic of pet cancer is welcome. Those who receive a grant from RCF and wish to use our website to raise additional money are asked to first apply for this benefit in order to demonstrate the need for further financial support.
We look to our members and the international veterinary community to help us provide complete, up-to-date, expert information. We continuously aggregate high quality, reliable content for our resource library and encourage affiliated veterinarians and cancer treatment specialists to contribute their knowledge. Information that is submitted for publication on our website is reviewed by our board of veterinary cancer specialists.
We urge all RCF members to post content that they believe will benefit others through our open forums and blogs. We offer additional online seminars and videos for those with particular needs, such as “mentoring” from another member. All member-to-member support services are provided on a volunteer, no cost basis.
Our Board of Directors
Our Board of Directors includes: Co-Founder – Mark Tillinger, Riedel’s pet parent; Co-Founder – David Duchemin, Cody’s pet parent; Director – Heather Witt; Chief Medical Advisor – Dr. Gerry Post DACVIM (Oncology); and Executive Director – Lorin Liesenfelt.
Jill Rappaport is our National Spokeperson. Our Directors and Ms. Rappaport have generously contributed time and money to create The Riedel & Cody Fund and the website RiedelCody.org. Neither our Directors nor Ms. Rappaport receive compensation for the gifts of their time, resources, and talent.
Mark Tillinger – Co-Founder
Mark Tillinger recently retired from Accenture where he served in a variety of leadership roles since beginning his career there in 1982.
He received his BA in Economics from Vanderbilt University in 1981 and his MBA from the Vanderbilt Owen School of Management in 1982. He currently serves on the Board of Visitors at Vanderbilt University.
Mark is active in civic, philanthropic, educational, and commercial endeavors. His wife, Theresa Tillinger, is the Principal of St. Ann School in Bridgeport, CT. She received her BA in Education from Middle Tennessee State University and her Masters in Education from Fairfield University. Theresa serves on the Board of the Neighborhood Studios in Bridgeport, CT (formerly MACH, the Music and Arts Center for the Humanities) and is Chairperson of the Board of the Graduate School of Education at Fairfield University.
David Duchemin – Co-Founder
David Duchemin co-owns the Veterinary Oncology and Hematology Center in Norwalk, CT where he has been the Hospital Administrator since 2003. He brings a diverse background in management, marketing, sales, office deployment, and IT to the practice. David has worked as the National Marketing/Sales Director at Dignity Partners and as an Account Support Consultant at MCI. As one of its very first employees he was instrumental in the start-up of InterNap Network Services where he went on to serve as Market Administrator, Regional Support Manager and finally, as Senior Technical Services Engineer.
David developed a strong love for animals early in life and began training and showing dogs by age 10. He was also involved in the professional training and showing of horses — Western Pleasure, English Pleasure, Gymkhana and Halter — by age 18.
In July of 2009 he lost his beloved Rottweiler Cody to cancer. To honor her life he co-founded The Riedel & Cody Fund, with the primary mission of providing financial support for qualified owners of pets with cancer, in turn allowing them to give their pets the best possible cancer care and treatment.
Heather Witt – Director
Heather has been devoted to dogs all her life. She studied Biology and Animal Science at the University of Vermont and has been a Professional Dog Trainer for more than two decades. She lives in Easton, CT with her husband, two young boys, and a Leonberger.
Dr. Gerald Post, DACVIM (Oncology) – Chief Medical Advisor
Dr. Gerald Post is one of approximately one hundred and thirty board-certified veterinary oncologists in the United States. He graduated with honors from Cornell University and went on to obtain his DVM degree from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Post, who has authored many papers and book chapters on the topics of oncology and hematology, was recently recognized by New York Magazine as one of the best veterinarians in the Tri-State area.
Lorin Liesenfelt – Executive Director
Ms. Jill Rappaport – National Spokesperson
Jill Rappaport was the TODAY Show entertainment correspondent for the first 17 of 20 years she worked there. However, when her beloved dog Jack got bone cancer, her life and career changed forever.
While chronicling Jack's illness on the show, she realized animal care issues were her calling, and that changed her path in life. In her popular Bow To Wow series, shelter dogs receive a makeover and a second chance at life, and through her efforts, she has helped to save hundreds of horses that were severely abused. Jill also keeps TODAY Show viewers informed about the latest health trends for pets.
Jill is the best-selling author of People We Know, Horses They Love. She has written three others books, including Jack & Jill: The Miracle Dog with a Happy Tail To Tell and 500 Cats.
In addition, Jill has just introduced a clothing line with Pendleton for women and pets that will benefit the Jack and Jill Fund for animal cancer. Recently, Jill and the TODAY Show received the coveted Genesis Award, which is the Oscar of the animal world, for her reporting on animal issues. Jill lives on a farm with her four dogs and nine horses, which she refers to as her "fur angels."