About Us

The NLMSF Team Of Volunteers

"Our Enduring Mission is Our Passion"

(Click the Link Below To View)

Where Purpose Meets Progressin advancing collaborative priorities and patient community engagement  –  to accelerate progress for Leiomyosarcoma Precision Medicine =  Research – Clinical Trials -personalized treatment and care”.

The collaborative mission of the National LMS Foundation and the Cynthia Holmes Foundation is to bring the patient and research communities together to prioritize outreach, inclusivity, to make a profound impact on improving diagnosis and treatment, and accelerating research for this rare cancer. 

Arun Singh, M.D.
Associate Professor Sarcoma Service Division of Hematology-Oncology, U.C.L.A.

“The National Leiomyosarcoma Foundation is an important organization that strives to gather a critical mass of patients, scientists, patient advocates and physicians to learn more about this rare disease. Within the NLMSF,  the LMS Research Roundtable organizes cutting edge research in this area and strives to innovate the ways that this disease is treated.”

 
Our Mission

Our mission is to advance research in order to accelerate treatment options and offer supportive resource assistance to patients and caregivers throughout the diagnosis and treatment journey.

The NLMSF-SPAEN International LMS Research Roundtable and Executive Committee: https://leiomyosarcoma.info/irr-forum/

Medical Advisory Panel For Patient - Family Advocacy Round Table

Janai Carr- Ascher, MD

Assistant Professor / Carr-Ascher Lab
 Specialty, Molecular Biology Medicine
UC Davis, Sacramento, CA

Elizabeth Davis, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Medical Director, Clinical Trials Office
 Vanderbilt- Ingram  Cancer Center, Nashville, TN
 with research interest in improving the medical management
 of sarcoma patients  through the creation of novel treatment
 regimens and early phase clinical trials.

 

Suzanne George, MD

Director of Clinical Research, Sarcoma Center
Senior Physician
Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Matthew Hemming, MD, PhD

Medical oncologist and physician scientist focused
 on sarcoma at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts,
 and  Harvard Medical School

Evita Henderson-Jackson, MD 

Pathologist  
Anatomic Pathology & Clinical Pathology Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL

Matthew Ingham, Md, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at
 New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.
Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center , NY

Aparna Kamat, MD

Director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology for Houston Methodist Hospital,
and is currently the section leader for the Gynecologic Oncology Clinic.

 

Alexander J. Lazar, MD, PhD

Professor, Department of Pathology, Division of Pathology/Lab Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. Director, Sarcoma and Melanoma Clinical Genomics Program, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. Director, Selective (Soft Tissue) Pathology Fellowship Training Program, Department of Pathology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.


Sujana Movva, MD

Sarcoma Research Oncologist
Memorial Sloan Kettering, NY

Seth Pollack, MD

Director of the Sarcoma Program, Lurie Cancer Center

Professor of Cancer Biology
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine (Hematology and Oncology) Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Neeta Somaiah MD

Associate Professor & Deputy Chair, Sarcoma Medical Oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Jonathan Trent, MD, PhD 

Professor
Associate Director for Clinical Research
Sylvester Cancer Center – Miami, FL

Brian A. Van Tine, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine,
Sarcoma Program Director, Washington University, St. Louis, MO

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 and Community Education / Research Liaison 

I am devoted to the mission and goals of the Foundation,
since its inception in 1999 – through the vision of Mr. Edmund
Hoag. 

My aim is to preserve his legacy – preserve the Foundation
as he wanted it to be, by continuing all the focus that he had from the beginning – patient-centric programs and initiatives to promote support and advocacy within the LMS Community.  

My dedication and commitment to this is unwavering – to faithfully serve the
Champions of Hope – the patients; and promote collaborative relationships and partnerships with the Research Community  –
the Heroes Among us.

An interview from Global Genes with the President of the National LMS Foundation:

https://globalgenes.org/ raredaily/rare-leader-annie- achee-president-of-the- national-leiomyosarcoma- foundation/

Mitch D. Achee, M.D.

NLMSF Medical Advisory / Patient Access/ International LMS Research Roundtable Executive Committee

I am a Board Certified Diagnostic Radiologist, practicing in Colorado for over 30 yeas I am also an  LMS survivor, diagnosed in 2011.   My undergraduate degree is from Johns Hopkins University and my MD from the University of Virginia.  I was on active duty in the Army, in my internship and residency at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado, having also served in a leadership capacity for the Denver Medical Society; Also, a member of the Colorado Radiological Society and the Colorado Medical Society.   I wish to “pay it forward” to the LMS Community through assisting in answer general questions about the disease and explaining imaging results to help have a good understanding of their case, and be able to ask good the right questions of their care team as a result. 

NOTE:  Both Dr. Achee and Annie are members of the following research organizations: Connective Tissue Oncology Society (CTOS); the American Society of Clinical Oncologists  (ASCO); the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR).

Lynne Greco Forges, M.B.A., C.P.M.

NLMSF Treasurer

I was diagnosed with uterine leiomyosarcoma in 2015.  I have undergone numerous surgeries and chemotherapies.  Throughout this time, I have done all I can to maintain a positive attitude.  This, along with my strong faith and an excellent team of doctors, has carried me through. 

I enjoyed a 32-year career in Purchasing for various steel companies in Pittsburgh, PA. I love spending time with family and friends, cooking, reading, working on my house, spending time outdoors, yoga, walking and biking.  I do a lot of volunteer work and do as much as possible to help others. 

The NLMSF has been such a great resource for me, being Treasurer is the least I can do to show my appreciation.

Denny Noh

NLMSF Community Outreach

Survivor of UPS sarcoma since 2013, and my wife is also an Ovarian cancer survivor (2018). We are both in NED
status, and volunteer at MD Anderson to support patients.

Prior to retirement I worked at: the Human Space Flight division
of North American Aviation, Rockwell International, and Boeing Space and Defense Systems. I have been involved in 10 short term mission trips to Guatemala, working with local churches to build homes for the poor and provide medical services.   
I support patients, families, and caregivers, by sharing experiences,
information, and resources and am happy to be affiliated with the NLMSF
for like-minded goals.

Jim Matthews

Community Awareness Outreach Coordinator

I hail from New Jersey, and am a graduate in Economics from Seton Hall University.   I am long time survivor, having been diagnosed in 1996 and treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering in NY.  I was one of the original members of the National Leiomyosarcoma Foundation, having attend their first HugFest in Lancaster, PA.

I am blessed with a loving family and blessed to be affiliated with the NLMSF.
I believe in the goodness of my fellow board members and want to help the LMS Community through collaborative Foundation support and advocacy in
to honor the legacy of Mr. Edmund Hoag and his board members  – carrying on
their original mission of supporting the LMS patients and their families.

Christopher Hancock

NLMSLF Webmaster/Consultant

My name is Christopher Hancock, owner of Corvus SEO
I am a former Machine Gunner in the Marine Corps and proud to have had the privilege to honorably serve the country I love.
I have been working with the NLMSF for the last 2 years, ever since my mother Shannon Shapiro met Annie Achee at a convention, as she is a survivor of LMS since 2018.
I am very pleased to serve as a Board Member for the NLMSF in her honor. My values and work ethic aligns with the mission and success of the NLMSF in assisting the LMS community. Their dedication, tenacity and can-do spirit is inspirational to me and I’m honored to be a part of it.

Pamela Randall

NLMSF Community Outreach

As a  Survivor of LMS,  I would love to give back and help the NLMSF. Together we can get the word out in our communities about this disease. 
People need to know how much it means for You and Dr M Achee to be in my life. It only takes one person to understand your mission like I do.

Greg Lee

NLMSF Community Outreach
 
“I was diagnosed with LMS in 2020 and with metastatic LMS in 2021.  I have an assistant professor of Computer Science in the Jodrey School of Computer Science at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada.  I am now applying machine learning techniques to search for patient features (e.g., biomarkers) that help predict which treatments are best, to be applied on an individual level.  My past research involved predicting who was most likely to give a charitable gift to a given organization.  I worked with smaller data sets (which we often run into with LMS) but still produced accurate models.  I’m hoping to produce similar LMS prediction models.

I am  a Cancer Immunotherapy Coordinator for patients interested in going to Germany for Dendritic Cell Therapy treatment.

I am happy to be a part of the NLMSF Foundation, as I feel they are a special group to advocate for the LMS Community.

 I am married to my wonderful wife Melissa and we have 3 children and it’s for them that I’m doing this research.”.

Ed Vigden

NLMSF Community Outreach
 

Husband of Danka Vidgen, ✝️ 2003/ULMS and retired bio-statistician from Toronto’s St Michael’s Hospital and University of Toronto with about 60 publications listed at PubMed repository.  Father of son Anton.   Ed is retired permanently in Thailand after having lived for 7 years in Mexico.  Wants to be a Champion of hope for the NLMSF’s mission and goals.

Chandalyn Williams

NLMSF Community Outreach
 

Chandalyn Williams is a highly motivated and experienced executive professional, regarded for her ability to deliver outstanding results with the highest degree of expertise and professionalism. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration and Communication Management from Jones International University, graduating Cum Laude; a Master of Business Administration from Texas Woman’s University and; is currently within one year of completing her Doctorate of Business Administration at Trident International University. Chandalyn has served as an inpatient volunteer with M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, advocated on public platforms, such as Rare Disease Day at the Texas State Capitol and led annual 5K Run/Walks for over nine years in support of Leiomyosarcoma (LMS) Cancer research.

“When my mother, Cynthia Solomon Holmes, was diagnosed on April 8, 2010 with Leiomyosarcoma (LMS) after visiting her doctor for a persistent cough, I was not prepared for how my world as I knew it would be turned upside down. Watching my mother fight this disease with the strength and vigor I knew to be her was an overwhelmingly painful experience. I felt physically helpless – but I knew how to pray. For her, my family and me. Following only a three-month battle with this dragon, my mother succumbed to the disease, passing away at the age of 52. I vowed to turn my personal tragedy into something that could be triumph for others who are faced with this disease through the creation of The Cynthia Solomon Holmes Foundation. I pray that through my efforts, individuals are inspired to support those battling this disease and in the daily fight for their right to live!” ~ Chandalyn Williams

Cynthia Hayes

BOARD MEMBER AT LARGE
Consultant to the National LMS Foundation Board for Psychosocial/psycho-oncology patient resources and programs
 

A cancer survivor, patient advocate/peer mentor, speaker and author of The Big Ordeal: Understanding and Managing the Psychological Turmoil of Cancer, Ms. Hayes is dedicated to supporting patients through the emotional experience of cancer. She founded TheBigOrdeal.com, a resource for patients and caregivers coping with cancer emotions, and speaks passionately on the topic to patients and their loving caregivers through cancer support organizations everywhere. She serves as a volunteer peer mentor in the Woman-to-Woman program at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, and in Montefiore Medical Center’s BOLD Buddy program in the Bronx. She sits on the Board of Directors of Moving for Life and Global Focus on Cancer. Previously, she was President of Hayes Strategies for 25 years, where she consulted to clients on new business development, business strategy and marketing, and in 2011 went to work full time for one of her clients, Montefiore Medical Center in New York. Based on her expertise, Ms. Hayes has created and taught a number of executive training workshops and seminars, and served as adjunct professor at New York University Sloan School of Business. A former Commissioner with the New York City Commission on Women’s Issues under Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Ms. Hayes holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Wellesley College.

Marlana Stoddard

NLMSF Community Outreach

My name is Marlana Stoddard Hayes and I am a 6 year survivor of uterine LMS, presenting as STUMP in 2011.
Formerly, I have been a Professor of Art for 35 years with my last position as faculty at Marylhurst University in Oregon. In 2015, my diagnosis called me to step away from all teaching in order to focus on my health. In my current professional life I am represented by A.I.R. Gallery in NYC as a National Member and have a listing in Who’s Who of America. I am happy to help support the NLMSF foundation as a Board Member, as well as with donations of cards and pillow making in support of this cancer journey on behalf of cancer patients and their families. We are also parents of an amazing Chinese girl, now 18!

Joyce Quitman

Joyce Quitman

NLMSF Community Outreach

I graduated from Temple University with a bachelor in Social Work. BSW and a Masters degree in Education MEd . I worked as a social worker with older adults at  In home support services and senior centers.

I was diagnosed and treated for LMS last year at the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic. I am currently in remission or I like to say healed.

I was looking for a grant to pay for my remaining medical bills. I did not find any financial assistance, but I found a wealth of knowledge instead. My cancer center social worker gave me a list of foundations that might assist financially. I made a few calls and one of the organizations told me about NLMSF for patient support. 

I did not receive financial assistance, but a wealth of knowledge and support about the LMS treatment research and resources through the NLMSF  – a very patient-support oriented, caring foundation. Knowledge and support is priceless in a challenging time.
I am pleased to be a Board Member of the NLMSF to help others as I was helped by this organization of caring, dedicated volunteers.

Cherie Finazzo

Cherie Finazzo

NLMSF Community Outreach

I’ve been married to my husband Tony for 23 years.  We have two wonderful daughters ages 23 and 18.  I was born in Vietnam; my father was in the military during the Vietnam War.  I am half Vietnamese and half Irish/Scottish.  Tony is half Irish/Italian.  We are a diverse family that enjoys many family outings.  I have held many positions with our local PTA including co-president for 2 years at the elementary school and VP with the PTSA at the high school. I was a Deacon for our church. 


Our youngest daughter, Gina is a freshman,  attending college at Western Washington University.


Our oldest daughter, Amanda has finished her AA in accounting.   However, she has decided to pursue nursing and has been working at Columbia Lutheran Home in Seattle.

I’m 54 and have been very active and very healthy, so getting hit with pain and bleeding was very unexpected in May 2021.  What should have been a benign fibroid was cancerous, it was big and was already spreading by the time it was removed on June 29th.  It was  an emergency open hysterectomy.  Finally diagnosed as stage 4B leiomyosarcoma in August.  Since than we have gone down too many rabbit holes by googling.  I am so grateful for this group.  It has been such a blessing to get quick answers to my questions and concerns from people who has gone before me.  I would be honored to serve on the board and help in anyway possible.