Volunteer Spotlight

Photo collage of NPF volunteers.

The National Psoriasis Foundation is grateful for the thousands of volunteers who share their time and talents with the psoriatic disease community. These selfless individuals drive our mission forward.

NPF Volunteer Spotlight: Mark Parikka

Mark Parikka standing outside with his hand on a nearby tree, smiling, with a "Forward for a Cure" racing shirt on.

Mark Parikka first noticed small bumps on the skin around his ankle in 2006. Over the course of the year, there were additional patches on other areas. He sought out a diagnosis and the dermatologist confirmed through biopsy it was psoriasis. At this point, Mark said it was easily managed with topicals. In 2007, while vacationing in Hawaii, Mark likely developed an infection from some open skin. The infection became very serious, he had a huge flare and developed erythrodermic psoriasis. Mark was hospitalized for a week and immediately prescribed biologics by his doctor. Mark plateaued on two drugs before the medication “kicked in”. He is happy to report he has had excellent results, and in the past ten years has only had occasional and minor skin patches.

Mark researched and found NPF in 2007. He has been an active member of Southern California chapter, attending support groups, Team NPF Cycle and every San Diego walk. He has been very involved with the Western Advocacy Committee and attended Capitol Hill Day in 2010. Mark has attended conferences in San Francisco and DC. He has been asked to speak at NPF conferences.

As part of the Founder’s Day Celebration in February 2021, Mark reflected on what the NPF community means to him. He wrote, “Beyond the obvious of making a difference in our disease, of raising funds for better treatments and the goal of finding a cure, I have made lifelong friends, enriched my community, and made others aware of a disease they either didn't know about, or had misconceptions about. While the NPF isn't perfect and I've had personal disagreements about some aspects of the mission, I can honestly say that on balance I am a much better advocate because of my NPF involvement.” 

Mark resides in San Diego with David, his husband of nearly 34 years. Besides volunteering for NPF and other worthy causes, he also enjoys tennis, cooking, sporting events, dinner/game nights with friends, theater, and concerts.

Outstanding NPF Volunteers

Get to know others recognized with the NPF monthly volunteer spotlight.

Read more

A Lighthouse in the Storm

Providing peer support to navigate psoriatic disease.

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There For Each Other

Sometimes what you need most is someone who has been there before.

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Humble, Compassionate and Driven

Meet Jenn Pellegrin, our 2020 NPF Volunteer of the Year.

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Read the SELF magazine story on NPF volunteer Melissa Leeolou, who pivoted from ballet to medical school. Read More

Why Do You Volunteer?

The folks at the NPF from the Board, to the CEO, to the staff, and to the volunteers, are the most dedicated and caring group of folks that I have ever run across and I want to be a part of that.- John Early

What does NPF mean to me? People, many of whom are now friends, that I can relate to and talk to about our common disease.   - Hillel Katzeff

NPF is connection. Connection to fellow sufferers, connection to important information and a connection to my need as a nurse to be able to help others.  NPF has given me needed friendships and fellowship I would not have otherwise had.    - Patti MacBean-Puchino 

Volunteer with NPF

Volunteers are our driving force. You can help change the lives of those living with psoriatic disease for generations to come.

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