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 advocate for you.

The Board members have been touched by LMS in some way, whether as a survivor/thriver or as a family member/caregiver.

Annie Achee
President, Medical Research Liasion

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.

 Jim Matthews
LMS Community Awareness Ambassador 
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 .
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.”

Foundation Ambassadors

Randa Laouar

Web Administrator/ Project Manager

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!

Lynn Forges

LMS Community Ambassador


John H. Wood
Past President, LMS Community Ambassador

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.


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).
Mitchell D. Achee, M.D.                                                                     

Medical Advisory Chair, Medical Research Liason

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 American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO), the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), the Colorado Radiological Society, the Colorado Medical Society and the Denver Medical Society.

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.

Reaching For the Cure Together