Volunteer of the Month: Anne Bacigalupo

Anne Bacigalupo is an event volunteer at ABOH. Anne and her husband Mark became involved at ABOH when their pastor and dear friend, John Bucka, was diagnosed with nonsmoking lung cancer. They rallied around John and participated in the ABOH Twin Cities Lung Run/Walk and Golf Classic in his honor. Anne and Mark were hit again when Mark’s mother was diagnosed. They lost both of these loved ones to this terrible disease.

Anne volunteers at ABOH because she has lost many family and friends to America’s number one cancer killer. She wants to do whatever she can to help raise awareness about lung cancer and improve funding for research to put an end to the disease.

Anne is currently serving as co-chair of the ABOH 10th birthday celebration, the 2018 Shining Bright Gala. She has recruited guests, motivated other committee members, solicited amazing silent and live auction items, and has generously donated quite a few things of her own.

ABOH staff and event manager, Anna, loves working with Anne. “Anne is amazing. She works tirelessly to make sure this event is beautiful and raises money to fight lung cancer. She makes my job easier and covers many tasks that help me be more productive with my time. This year’s gala will be more successful because of her hard work.”

Thank you, Anne, from all of us at ABOH!

FROM ANNE: “When I was asked to co-chair and help plan the 10th birthday party, my response was a strong ‘absolutely’. I am excited to help build an event that celebrates hope and raises money for lung cancer research. I have lost too many people to this devastating disease.

My favorite co-chair duties have been working on the décor and the silent and live auctions with the amazing staff and other volunteers. It has been an honor to help create what I hope will be a memorable and fun evening.

Let’s find hope and an end to lung cancer.”

Volunteer of the Month: Kelly Link

Picture of Kelly and Steve Link

Kelly is an event/administration volunteer at ABOH. She brings passion, attention to detail, and wonderful energy to everything she does. “Above and beyond,” is the phrase that staff use to describe her.

Kelly became involved at ABOH after her husband Steve, a Musculoskeletal Radiologist, was diagnosed with lung cancer. Kelly explains that the reason she volunteers is that she needs to be involved with people working to fight lung cancer. She wants to know everything she can about the disease. She hopes her work will provide research, awareness, and education.

Thank you, Kelly, for your commitment and passion! You are greatly appreciated.

FROM KELLY: “A lung cancer diagnosis was the last thing on my mind when my husband had a rib x-ray after an injury while on vacation. Living a healthy, active lifestyle, and being a non-smoker, I couldn’t believe that somehow Steve now had Stage IIIA lung cancer. Steve and I were devastated with this news. Our lives had now changed forever. It was then that our fight with cancer began. My brother-in-law invited us to the ABOH gala last fall. After attending, Steve and I knew immediately that ABOH was where we wanted to commit our time, energy, and resources. ABOH is filled with people who have been affected by lung cancer and are passionate about both finding a cure and ending the smoking stigma. ABOH allows me to give back, to get involved, and to be an advocate for lung cancer research. I can also inform others of the shocking statistics surrounding lung cancer. Being involved is uplifting. I appreciate volunteering with passionate people whose mission is to fight the disease that has changed the course of so many lives. I believe that A Breath of Hope is just that. It is hope. It is hope for a future for those who fight this disease. I am honored to be part of the mission.”



Volunteer of the Month: David Flannery

volunteer-david-flanneryDavid Flannery joined the A Breath of Hope Ambassador Program as a volunteer driver in December 2015. The Ambassador Program utilizes trained volunteers to provide rides, companionship and hope to lung cancer patients who face lung cancer alone or without the support they need.

Lung cancer patients that David has provided rides for describe him as a kind, compassionate and caring person. He is a very committed, conscientious volunteer who responds timely to patient requests and follows protocol to the letter. David selflessly thanks ABOHLF for allowing him to serve as a volunteer driver, although the pleasure is ours!

David knows the hardship a diagnosis can cause because he has experienced lung cancer in his family and is a survivor himself. David said, “I do this driving because I can and because, from my own experiences with doctors, therapies and illness, I know that every assist, no matter how small, is important and is one less thing a person has to worry about and focus on. Once I started driving, I discovered how much I enjoyed meeting new people and seeing how courageous, kind and interesting people can be even as they work through really hard things. I will continue to drive when I’m needed because it’s been very satisfying.”

Thank you, David, for generously serving lung cancer patients and their family members. You make a difference in people’s lives and at A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation.

Volunteer of the Month – Tim Gormley


Tim Gormley is a selfless, reliable volunteer who is more than willing to take on big projects.

When the foundation was in dire need of someone to drive the supply truck to the 10th Anniversary A Breath of Hope Lung Run/Walk Twin Cities, Tim rescheduled his personal priorities and offered to help. He picked up the supply truck, loaded and unloaded many boxes and bins numerous times, and drove the truck for three days – to and from early check-in, the 5k event and the ABOHLF office.

Tim gives back in loving memory of his dear friend Brad who passed away from lung cancer this past spring.

Thank you, Tim for all you do! We are simply amazed by your kindness and generosity.

Volunteer of the Month – Jody Eifert

jody-eifert-volunteerJody Eifert is the Lung Cancer Care Coordinator and Nurse Navigator at Abbott Hospital in Minneapolis. She lovingly cares for her lung cancer patients and never stops looking for ways to improve their journey.

Two years ago, Jody noticed that some of her patients struggled to get to their medical appointments and treatments. They either lacked a means of transportation or someone to drive them.

The A Breath of Hope Ambassador Program had recently been added to A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation’s programming and Jody was able to find a grant to help pilot this new program at Abbott Hospital.

The Ambassador Program uses carefully screened and trained volunteers who have experienced lung cancer in some capacity to drive patients to and from their appointments, or offer encouragement and companionship. Jody was influential in piloting the Ambassador Program and continues to refer lung cancer patients to A Breath of Hope where they are matched with caring volunteers.

In 2015, Jody joined the A Breath of Hope Board of Directors where she brings a unique patient advocacy perspective to the board.

In addition to those large commitments, Jody is a lead volunteer at the A Breath of Hope Lung Run/Walks in Chicago and the Twin Cities.

Jody generously gives her time to advance A Breath of Hope’s patient support and awareness programs and we are so grateful.

Thank you for all you do, Jody!

Volunteer of the Month — Rachel Carlson


Rachel Carlson is a selfless, dedicated volunteer who is always willing to assist and tackles large projects with determination. Rachel is the Event Co-Chair for the annual Women’s Wellness Tea each spring, a lead volunteer for the annual Twin Cities Lung Run/Walk, a lead volunteer for the first ever Chicago Lung Run/Walk, as well as the organizer for the annual Shine A Light on Lung Cancer Vigil.

Rachel gives back to A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation because she personally experienced the lack of public awareness and research funding while her mom battled her own lung cancer journey.

Rachel is an ultrasound technologist at CDI, a screening company and sponsor of A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation events, and advocates for preventative screening. You can see Rachel in CDI’s video on preventative lung cancer screening.

Thank you, Rachel. You are making a difference in the lives of those battling lung cancer.