Volunteer of the Month

A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation (ABOH) is so grateful for all of the wonderful volunteers that support our mission. Each month the ABOH staff selects one volunteer that goes above and beyond and features them here. This month, we are proud to highlight Lynn and Phil Fortin as ABOH’s Volunteers of the Month!

From the Fortins:

Phil and Lynn Fortin2020 was the 4th year my wife Lynn and I served as Volunteer Committee Co-Chairs for the A Breath of Hope Lung Run/Walk SW Florida.

We volunteer because we have been blessed with so much in our lives: each other, two beautiful and loving daughters with wonderful spouses and five gorgeous grandies.

Lynn and I became involved with A Breath of Hope (ABOH) when our friend, Mary Jane Benjamin, invited us to get involved with the first ABOH 5K event in SW Florida over four years ago. We both saw the words “lung cancer” and knew in our hearts a calling was there.

With Phil being a three-time lung cancer survivor and having tragically lost two sisters to this disease, we are acutely aware of how this disease hurts families, as we are still healing ourselves. We also currently have two close friends who live in our Lexington Country Club community that are dealing with the day-to-day struggles of lung cancer. Even with all this disease has put us through, we feel blessed and fortunate to have a strong and loving family, friends and medical support team around us.

We will not give up our commitment and support to this cause and hope to one day be able to see preventative screening and ultimately a cure for this most dreadful disease. We are excited to see ABOH preparing to bring their patient support program to Southwest Florida this year – especially since we have called this place ‘home’ for the past 18 years. We love the weather, the beautiful sunsets, the diversity of nature and the many hours we spend on the golf course – even though at times, our scores are not so rewarding.

From A Breath of Hope Staff:

Phil and Lynn Fortin are incredible volunteers and all-around amazing people. They are organized, enthusiastic, passionate and kind. Whether they are “rallying the troops” at the Lexington Country Club, gathering sponsorships, picking up bananas or sharing their story to raise awareness in Florida, they do it with a smile and with the genuine hope of making a difference.

The Fortins have been instrumental in helping ABOH grow its presence in SW Florida, making it a natural next place to expand the ABOH Ambassador Program. Phil has been a volunteer in the Lee Health Hospitals for 15 years, serving on the Auxiliary Board as a past president and currently as a board member at large.

We rely on our incredible volunteers to help us make meaningful connections and extend our reach into the communities we serve. Phil and Lynn are amazing examples of what can happen when that goes right.

Thank you, Lynn and Phil – you are making a difference in this battle to improve lung cancer outcomes.

Learn more about becoming an ABOH Ambassador here.

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.”