Meet the Team

These are the dedicated people behind the scenes.

Jim Coghlin  Founder & Chief Volunteer

When I learned that cancer survival rates for 15 to 40 year olds had barely improved since 1975, I could not believe it. Later learning that delayed diagnosis played a critical role in this statistic was equally shocking. These are facts my family and I could not ignore. I truly believe that your health is a gift. It is part of everything you do. It is why founding and being a part of 15-40 Connection is one of the most important things I have ever done. Every one of us can help improve cancer survival rates by changing the cancer conversation and empowering earlier detection. If it is to be, it is up to us!

Tricia Scannell Laursen  Executive Director

Let’s face it, cancer is a scary word. Being told “you have cancer” turns your world upside down. Learning “you have cancer, but we caught it early” is still scary, but it also gives you real hope. Earlier cancer detection saves lives. Talking about cancer symptoms and your role in your health care is a new conversation and one I wish we had started long ago. Giving hope and minimizing the impact cancer has on patients and their families is why I am so passionate about 15-40 Connection.

Susan Cyr  Administrator & Director of the Ungerer Golf Tournament, Gala & Auction

I am involved with 15-40 Connection because I want to honor the memories of dear family members who could have been empowered by 15-40 Connection education. Having been involved from the very start, it is rewarding to see the progress we have made toward improving cancer survival rates, with the ultimate goal, of course, of putting ourselves out of business!

Jan Fountaine  Donor Services Manager

Our lives and those of our family and friends are too precious not to take part in the 15-40 Connection conversation. Awareness of cancer symptoms and advocating for yourself are key skills to possess. Knowledge has the power to save lives. I don’t want anyone to have to say. “I wish I had known that”, after receiving a cancer diagnosis.

Ashley Emerson  Education & Outreach Director

At age 19 I was diagnosed with Leukemia. As a cancer survivor, I know and appreciate the importance of early detection. I discovered 15-40 Connection in 2012 and was so impressed to learn that 15-40 is starting a new cancer conversation to empower people to be aware and take action for their health. I am passionate about the mission and work of 15-40 Connection because we have the opportunity to impact and save lives through education and early detection.

Ann Zelesky  Outreach & Education Specialist

I have worked with students on the high school and college level throughout my career and I am also a breast cancer survivor. Joining 15-40 Connection at this stage in my life affords me the opportunity to continue to work with this age group in order to empower and educate them about the importance of early detection. As a survivor, I know that cancer can be treatable and beatable when found at its earliest stages. I am looking forward to spreading this message and making a difference in the fight against cancer.

Alicia Donovan Education & Outreach Manager

Cancer is something that affects the majority of people in one way or another – whether through personal experience, friends or family being diagnosed, or moving survival stories. 15-40 Connection has a unique viewpoint in starting a New Cancer Conversation to promote early detection and help save lives. Losing my father to cancer had a strong impact on me as a teenager, and inspired me to contribute to the fight against cancer. I am excited to be part of an organization that empowers people to give themselves the life-saving advantage of early detection, and a fighting chance against cancer.

Ashley Perssico Social Media and Website Communications Manager

The New Cancer Conversation means a lot to me because, as someone who has lost several family members and watched a childhood friend battle cancer as a teen, I’ve seen first hand that early detection saves lives. I first learned about 15-40 Connection during a campus visit at my college in 2013. Since then, I’ve loved the organization from afar. But now I’m excited to be a part of it!

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