June 22, 2017
 
Wake Up Narcolepsy Appoints Tamara Gilbertson as New ED

Tamara Gilbertson
April 22, 2017 — Wake Up Narcolepsy, a Worcester nonprofit working to improve narcolepsy awareness, diagnosis, treatment, and research, last week announced that it has named Tamara Gilbertson as its new executive director.

Gilbertson joins Wake Up Narcolepsy (WUN) with 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, including the Visiting Nurse Associations of America, The Good Samaritan Society, and The Immune Deficiency Foundation.

Laura Fabrizio, board chair of WUN, said, Gilbertson's appointment "begins a new and exciting chapter for WUN," and "comes at the perfect time as we celebrate nine years of being one of the leading narcolepsy organizations supporting the field of research, increasing awareness while providing valuable resources to patients and families."

Gilbertson most recently served as director of development for the MDS Foundation, and earlier consulted to Philanthropy Core and Access Philanthropy. She studied at St. Cloud State University and the University of St. Thomas.

Gilbertson, who believes no person should walk alone while living with narcolepsy, noted, “This journey is meant to be shared as we work together to change the future of narcolepsy.”

Narcolepsy is a life-long disorder of the central nervous system characterized by the brain’s inability to control sleep-wake cycles. At various times throughout the day, people with narcolepsy experience irresistible and sudden bouts of sleep, which can last from a few seconds to several minutes. This sleepiness is similar to how non-narcoleptics feel when going without sleep for 48-72 hours.

Founded in 2008, WUN has become a national leader for narcolepsy research and awareness. In addition to raising funds for research, WUN each year hosts a number of events to raise awareness about the disease.

For the year ending Dec. 31, 2015, WUN reported $315,000 in revenue, of which $247,000 came from contributions and grants, and $282,000 in expenses, according to its most recently available federal tax filing.

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