Our Board

The National Leiomyosarcoma Foundation is comprised of volunteer Board members committed to the foundation's vision.

The Board members serving the Foundation are here for YOU – for patients, families, and caregivers.  They are passionate about answering your questions and being available to respond to requested assistance. They represent and work for you.

The Board members have been touched by LMS in some way, whether as a survivor/thriver, or as a family member of someone who has been diagnosed with LMS.

 
Annie Achee
President, Medical Research Liasion
annieachee@aol.com
 

As the President of the Foundation,  I am devoted to the work of this Foundation,carried out through the lens of a sarcoma coalition network approach/platform.  The "mission that matters" with the Foundation is a strong focus on patient advocacy through education, research funding support, and reaching out to other complimentary organizations to amplify patient/family/caregiver resource assistance.  My coalition-related efforts offer increased awareness of the Foundation's focus on behalf of patients, families, and caregivers.  As a caregiver myself,  I am passionate about the well being of the LMS community being served by this Foundation through the collaborative/partnering perspective.   I am honored and  totally committed to helping patients and their families through the Foundation's mission and purpose.  Our place in the sarcoma research community landscape is growing, respected, and encouraged by the researchers who are part of who we are - our everyday Heroes, along with patients -  our Champions of Hope.  

 
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Madeline Wood
Community Outreach, Special Projects
Email: madeline@nlmsf.org
 

Having lived in Cincinnati, Ohio for 44 years, I consider myself a Cincinnatian even though I was raised and educated near Detroit, Michigan.  My background was in primary and intermediate education.  After 30 years of teaching primary and intermediate grades, I moved on to a supervisory student teacher position for the Miami of Ohio University.

Not unlike others, when my daughter, Annemarie, at age 46 was diagnosed with peritoneal Leiomyosarcoma (LMS), my world changed its course.  As a result, my passion was totally focused on being an active member of the National Leiomyosarcoma Foundation (NLMSF).  My tenacity to investigate, rise to the challenge to fight this disease, through research and awareness, let my husband John and I to actively join the Foundation in 2011.  In 2012,  I became recording secretary, for two years and now the membership chairperson.

My husband, John, vice-president since 2013 of the NLMSF, joined me, as did close friends, to organize/coordinate the 2-5K runs in Cincinnati. I held numerous fundraisers from home parties to “wine and dine” events, to Shop for Cause with Macy’s department store.

Fortunately, our daughter is in remission.  It warms my heart to meet other survivors who may still be battling the disease and leave me saddened when I hear of the LMS angels we lose.  Rather than concentrate on me, I would like to concentrate on you and them.

My dream is to see the NLMSF increase its following/membership, as well as fundraising efforts through regions with others who agree with our very necessary cause.  Thank you to those who have joined us, and to you who have not, please consider it.  “Together we can... Reach for the Cure.”

 
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Cat Voors
Treasurer, Fundraising Campaign Support
treasurer@nlmsf.org 
 
I, too, am a Leiomyosarcoma (LMS) patient, since June, 2014 and I lost one of my best friends to LMS early in 2016. I live in Fort Wayne, IN and I have been very involved in my community in activist and political work, and have worked on many boards, including President of the Board of Fort Wayne Women’s Bureau and the state boards of Planned Parenthood and the National Organization for Women. I have also held many jobs, paid and volunteer positions, with not-for-profits and as a business owner. I am currently the Director of Operations for Willowgreen, Inc., which publishes and distributes books and other materials by James E. Miller for those who are grieving, for caregivers, and for those in transition. I am honored to be on the board of the NLMSF. I support the goals and enjoy working with the good people of the NLMSF Board who are all equally committed to the mission of patient support/advocacy, and supporting the medical research oncologists who are working on finding a cure for LMS.

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Mitchell D. Achee, M.D.                                                                     

Medical Advisory Chair, Fundraising Campaign
mitch@nlmsf.org

Mitch is a leiomyosarcoma survivor, diagnosed in 2011.  He is a Board Certified Diagnostic Radiologist practicing for over 30 years in Denver, Colorado.  He received a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and his M.D. from the University of Virginia.  He completed his internship in Internal Medicine and his residency in Diagnostic Radiology at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Colorado. He has served on both Active Duty and in the Reserves in the Army.  Mitch has served in various leadership roles in his practice, at hospitals and for the Denver Medical Society.   Mitch has developed a strong interest in cancer patient support and advocacy and sarcoma research.  He is a member of the Connective Tissue Oncology Society (CTOS), the Radiological Society of North America and the America Roentgen Ray Society and the American College of Radiology.  

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Karen Galler
Secretary, Community Outreach

karen@nlmsf.org

I am a Psychotherapist in private practice with a degree in Social Work.  I was diagnosed with Uterine Leiomyosarcoma (ULMS) in 2010.  Since then, I have had several recurrences and have been through chemotherapy, radiation, and a major surgery as well as several more minor procedures.

I first came across the NLMSF in 2012, and attended HugFest in Ann Arbor, Michigan in April of 2013.  It was such a wonderful experience to meet other survivors and caregivers, and to hear about the exciting new developments in sarcoma research and treatment.  It can be such an isolating experience to have a rare disease like Leiomyosarcoma and I realize how important it is to connect with others who have had similar experiences.  It is also very rewarding to be involved in fundraising and advocacy work, and I feel honored to be joining the Board of the National Leiomyosarcoma Foundation as Secretary.

 
 
Mike Tokarski
 

I am a certified packaging engineer with twenty years in the medical device arena. I recently lost my wife to Leiomyosarcoma. She was still a young 60 years when LMS took her from me. At her initial diagnosis we quickly realized how little attention was being given to LMS versus other cancers (breast, prostate, lung, pancreatic, and so on). After her death I have made it a priority to honor her by volunteering with the LMS Foundation, with my goal of increasing awareness and education about this terrible disease.

I live in Jacksonville, Florida and intend to retire here at the end of 2017. My plan is to actively support the mission and vision of the NLMSF. If I can help to return one life from LMS then I have achieved my goal of honoring my wife.

 

 Jim Matthews
 
I am a Jersey boy since birth, it may not be a rite of passage to some but, it does define my nature.
I was surprised around my 36 th birthday when good doctor Ginsburg told me I had Leiomyosarcoma.
I swear it was a dream after the smoke cleared  I knew I should get healthy. Time went into low gear
While I delved into healthy eating upon reading A Cancer Battle Plan. Well , I became a juicer with
Vegetarian new found  heart. Could have been the Nun who prayed with me before surgery. Ellie my Mom
Shook me up in that classic old world, “You must beat this! Your 4 month old daughter Tara Lynne needs a Dad.
Laura my wife bought Vita Mixer, juicers, Organic everything sympathetically mediating on this belief I got cancer
From some contact with food, environment , or contact. I worked in pharmaceutical plants. Could my exposure
To radiation of perhaps childhood want to be golf addict since 12. Maybe the pesticides I was exposed to in some form
Or another.  
 
Laura my wife have been blessed with three children Tara Lynne, Derek, and Sawyer.
I have a degree in Economics from Seton Hall University.
I traveled the country and studied in Spain one summer.
Education and understanding this disease became my second life.
I am an assistant scoutmaster with Troop 116 in NJ.
 
   After my recovery at Sloan Kettering in August of 1996 , I became a student.
I found myself devouring anything and connecting the dots.
Not being a Doctor or a pathologist I understood the rudiments of LMS.
After the first Hug fest in Lancaster , Pa. I was charged with the belief we will survive.
Having a loving family and support of this community has uplifted my spirits.
Slaying the dragon is a daily calling to many in our world.
Vaya con Dios .
 

Board Support

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 Steve Baker
NLMSF Legislative Liaison/Facebook Administrator
Mayor Pro-Tem - Berkley Michigan

Steve is Mayor Pro Tem in the City of Berkley, Michigan, with extensive experience in local, state, and federal policy advocacy. His wife, diagnosed with high-grade uLMS in 2014, continues to inspire him as they work to raise awareness, enact legislation, and support research to care for and cure LMS patients. Instrumental in working with the Foundation to coordinate a 2016 National Leiomyosarcoma Day resolution with Senator Debra Stabenow's office (D-MI).
 
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Gail Gore
Community Outreach; Special Projects
gail@nlmsf.org
 
I was born in Augusta, Georgia, and now reside in North Augusta, SC  My husband, Robert and I have been married for over 49 years.  We have two sons, one daughter, and five grandchildren. I am a LMS survivor and thriver.
In November of 2010,   I found the NLMSF website, and learned about the events sponsored by the Foundation, which supported LMS patients and caregivers.   I gained strength from participating in events and  meeting other survivors, caregivers, and especially people in the medical field that knew about LMS and were researching to advance  treatment options for this disease.  I immediately became a member of the NLMSF in 2013, and appreciate being a volunteer to support the Foundation.  My hope is to continue to contribute as much as possible to the mission, vision, and goals of the NLMSF, to work together in bringing awareness of this disease, promote fundraising efforts for medical research advancement, and help others to cope with LMS.

 

 
 
 
 
Randa Laouar
Program Logistics Administrator I am a Biochemistry and Physiology graduate from the University of Colorado. I started working at the NLMSF in August 2016. Currently, I am working for a biotech company that involves extensive genetic/ drug research. I hope to apply the skills I learned thus far for LMS research and provide patients with readily accessible and comprehensible information on new treatment advancements. Although LMS is a rare disease, it certainly deserves more attention and I am honored to help spread awareness and support the foundation in empowering patients and searching for the cure!
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John H. Wood Volunteer  john@nlmsf.org

I have been a volunteer for NLMSF activities for about 7 years. Our daughter, Annemarie, survived after receiving surgery and treatment at the James Cancer Center in Columbus, Ohio. My wife, Madeline, and I understand the need for raising money for research, helping patients and their families through the journey with cancer, and the need to continue programs that foster public awareness of this dreaded disease.
 

Reaching For the Cure Together