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 President & 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.
Joyce O’Connor Davidson Vice President, Communications & Engagement
Education and advocacy that seeks to keep people healthy is a mission that motivates me. Teaching people to pay attention to health changes, to act promptly, and to communicate clearly with their doctors, is important work. I am deeply invested in the mission to communicate widely and effectively about the importance of early cancer detection. I personally benefited from the education and encouragement provided by staff at 15-40 Connection when I had my own early breast cancer diagnosis. The team at 15-40 is caring, smart, thoughtful, entrepreneurial, and mission-driven, and the work is life-saving.
Alec Elbert Vice President, Development
Being in tune with our own health and acting when symptoms present themselves is the single most important controllable factor that can help every individual in the global battle against cancer. Like most everyone I’ve met, I’ve been personally impacted by cancer through family and friends, and early detection is the key to ensure that everyone facing this fight has the best chance of beating it. I hope that my kids grow up in a culture where people who detect cancer early aren’t “lucky”, they are informed and empowered to prioritize the most important gift we are all given: our health.
Susan Cyr Administrator & Director of the 15-40 Connection Gala, Auction & Golf Tournament
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.
Alicia D’Agostino Education Program 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.
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.
Amy Kotsopoulos Creative Director & Web Designer
“You have cancer,” are probably the three most dreaded words you’ll ever hear. “When” you hear them makes all the difference in the world on the outcome. The sooner your cancer is detected, the better your chances are at beating it. The team at 15-40 Connection is dedicated to educating people about the importance of early cancer detection and being your own best healthcare advocate. I am very proud to help advance this lifesaving mission.
Heather Maykel First Responder Initiative Lead
I have spent the majority of my career working and volunteering for non-profit organizations in education and health in project management and fundraising capacities. I believe in the mission of 15-40 Connection – early detection is a key component in improving cancer survival rates and it can reduce healthcare costs as well. I am honored to be working with first responders, a group impacted by occupational cancers, to share our early cancer detection education with them.
Kate McCarthy Educational Trainer & Event Assistant
Early cancer detection can save lives! Knowing what to look for and how to advocate for yourself is a large piece of early detection. The 15-40 has been doing a wonderful job educating people with the 3 Steps Detect and I am proud to be a part of this mission and spread the education.
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