Mission & History

Rhonda and Kevin

Founder’s Mission
Sometimes Feeling Good on the Inside, Starts on the Outside

Kevin Goetz always knew that his mother would be an influential figure who would inspire him to give back to the community in a very big way.  Rhoda Goetz was a vital force- a beautiful, smart, working woman who loved to shop and loved to dance.

Rhoda lived with progressive MS for 11 years and Kevin remembers how it impacted the entire family.  When Rhoda was diagnosed, the family turned to the National MS Society to learn more about the disease.  Soon after, Kevin began supporting the Southern California Chapter through the Dinner of Champions.  He has also participated annually in Walk MS for over 20 years. In 2006, Kevin joined the Southern California Chapter board of trustees and became a member of The Golden Circle.  As Kevin learned more about the organization, he was impressed with how responsive the Society was, and also convinced, more than ever of the importance of making resources accessible for everyone living with the disease.

Understanding that living with a chronic illness can make even the simplest daily tasks challenging.  Kevin created The Rhoda Goetz Foundation in 2005 and then worked with the Chapter to establish the first of its kind, Rhoda Goetz Personal Care Program in memory of his mother.  The Program aims to help people with MS maintain healthy personal care practices and support quality of life, self-esteem and in-home emergency chore services.

Kevin fondly recalls his mother’s weekly visits to the beauty parlor- it was a ritual that provided her with a social circle and helped to boost her spirit.  Kevin said, “Over time, as her condition worsened, it was difficult for my mom to look at herself in the mirror.  She was so beautiful and always had a great figure, but being reliant on a wheelchair, she watched herself gain weight and lose muscle tone.”  He continued, “When she went to the beauty parlor, she always felt better. With this Program, I want to honor her stamina and persistence – for putting a good face to something that was really hard for her, something that was really debilitating.”


The Program was originally designed for individuals living with MS who could not otherwise afford or manage their personal care due to mobility issues, difficulties with transportation and financial limitations.  In January 2007, the Rhoda Goetz Personal Care Program was originally launched at the Center for Optimal Living with MS at Rancho Los Amigos in Downey.  The facility includes adaptive salon equipment to accommodate Center members using wheelchairs.  The Program expanded to reach individuals with MS in skilled nursing facilities in Southern California, including Hillcrest Care Center, Park Ventura, Woodland Care Center and Glenwood Gardens, and this was followed by expansion throughout California and Nevada.  Today, the Rhoda Goetz Personal Care Program is administered by the National MS Society across the entire United States.

Supporting MS Research: Rhonda Voskuhl, MD

In addition to establishing the Personal Care Program, Kevin supports MS research that is aimed at alleviating progressive MS, specifically Dr. Rhonda Voskuhl’s work as the Director of the UCLA MS Program, the Jack H. Skirball Chair in MS Research, and a Professor in the Dept. of Neurology.  Kevin said, ” I know that we can better understand how and why this disease is caused.  I think the discoveries that we make in our research will uncover clues to a whole host of other autoimmune diseases.”

Kevin has also been deeply inspired by Dr. Voskuhl, a globally acclaimed MS expert known for her translational work, seamlessly bridging clinical observations at the bedside to cutting-edge research in the lab and back to the bedside through innovative clinical trials. Dr. Voskhul has spearheaded four clinical trials in the field, testing groundbreaking MS treatments rooted in her laboratory research. Her contributions have been acknowledged with the prestigious Berlin Institute of Health Excellence Award for Sex and Gender Aspects in Health Research in 2018, a globally recognized accolade spanning all health research domains, not limited to MS. She was also honored with the Keynote Kenneth P. Johnson Memorial Lecture for 2019 by Americas Committee for Research and Treatment of MS (ACTRIMS), the preeminent organization representing MS neurologists in the United States and Canada. Dr. Voskuhl’s patient care extends to MS diagnosis and the implementation of significant advancements in MS treatment management. Her commitment also involves nurturing the future generation of MS researchers, which includes mentoring young faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduates.

Supporting MS Research: Tom Sherak MS Hope Foundation

In his mission to support continuing MS research, Kevin, along with a dozen others, founded the Tom Sherak MS Hope Foundation, a game-changing, action-oriented, non-profit organization that responds with immediacy to the needs of people with Multiple Sclerosis by supporting innovative programs and services and funding cutting edge research.