Meet Our Directors

Raquel Dias – Executive Director


Originally from Brazil, Raquel has called Halifax, Nova Scotia home since 2017. Her family has a history of X-linked hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, affecting both her brother and son. Raquel’s advocacy journey began in Brazil in 2016, where she continues to raise awareness and support families. Now, she champions the cause in Canada, as part of the CEDSA. Alongside her advocacy, Raquel works as a Research Associate at Dalhousie University’s Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine. With her diverse background and unwavering passion, she is committed to driving positive change for the ectodermal dysplasia community, locally and globally.

Meghan Cross – Director

Meghan has 20 years of experience as an executive director for non-profit organizations. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism, Hons. degree from the Carleton University School of Journalism, and worked for over 20 years in print media, including as the editor of two national magazines. In 2010, her youngest son was diagnosed with HED. Inspired by other associations around the world, she established CEDSA and volunteers her time to build and grow the services for families like hers. Meghan lives in Renfrew, Ontario with her three children.

Michelle Rickard – Director

Donating her time and energy to a good cause is nothing new for Michelle, who has volunteered for numerous charitable organizations from the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada to fundraising for her daughters’ school. For more than a decade, Michelle has worked in communications for non-profit organizations including St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation, and for a municipal government in her current role with the City of Guelph. She is an experienced journalist and writer, past newspaper editor and currently contributes to several magazines and newsletters. She resides in Cambridge, Ontario with her husband, a firefighter, and their two daughters.

Dayna Donnelly – Director

Dayna has worked in the management field of retail sales for over 15 years. She completed her undergraduate degree at Brock University in St. Catharines Ontario, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She is proud to be part of the CEDSA. Her youngest daughter has recently been diagnosed with ADULT syndrome, a rare form of Ectodermal Dysplasia. She is hoping her love of research will be a great asset to the organization! She currently lives in Orangeville, Ontario with her husband Blair an Advance Care Paramedic and two daughters Avery and Brenny.