Join the Young Leaders Board (YLB)

The Young Leaders Board (YLB) is a group of 8-10 young adults ages 21 – 35 who have a passion for social change and a connection to the devastation of lung cancer. Together, the YLB works to advance the mission of A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation by engaging and educating young adults. Board members are elected for one year (up to four years total). 
Board members must attend board meetings, recruit and engage young adults, attend at least one A Breath of Hope event, and help develop the YLB group strategy. 

To apply, please fill out this form

Meet the Faces on the YLB

Nicole Herje
YLB Chair

Nicole Herje
Nicole Herje with family

Nicole is a Licensed Graduate Social Worker. She holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Catherine University and a Masters in Clinical Social Work from the University of St. Thomas. She works as an elementary school social worker, supporting students’ social, emotional and behavioral needs to be successful in school. Nicole has over nine years of experience as a social worker and mental health provider in various settings, working with youth, education professionals, and families.

Nicole is honored to be a part of the ABOH YLB so she can continue to make a difference through promoting awareness and increasing research funding for this devastating disease. Her passion for supporting ABOH comes from the work her mom started before she died after an almost five year fierce battle with stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer in August 2021. Her mom, Laurie, was able to live for almost 5 years with stage 4 due to the advancements in targeted therapies. Laurie was an advocate to help stop the stigma of lung cancer through public service announcements and advocating to increase research for this devastating and underfunded disease. ABOH was an important organization to Laurie and Nicole has seen first hand the impact ABOH can have on lung cancer patients in their fight.

In her free time, enjoys traveling, visiting breweries, and spending time at the family cabin up north. Her favorite places to travel so far have been Alaska, Denmark, Costa Rica and Hawaii.

Fun Fact: Nicole has swam with sharks in the Dominican Republic
Pets: Nicole has a Havanese/Shih Tzu rescue dog named Millie
Least Favorite Food: Her least favorite foods are spicy foods and the many foods that she is allergic to like nuts, soy, greens, avocado, to name a few!

Kaitlyn became a part of A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation when her dad, Larry Roth was diagnosed with Stage 3 non-small cell lung cancer in March 2017. In May, within two weeks of finishing the first round of aggressive radiation and chemo treatments, it was discovered that the cancer had spread and was in the fluid surrounding his heart; a near fatal occurrence. After a short but fierce 5 month battle, Larry passed away in August 2017.

Kaitlyn graduated from the of University of Iowa in Biomedical Engineering in 2014. She is currently working in the medical device industry in design and development, and is the VP of Operations for a startup medical device company focused on the breast reconstruction space.

She recently attended a YLB event, and really wanted to do more to give back. 

Fun Fact: Kaitlyn loves to travel! She spent time studying abroad in Germany and volunteering in the hospitals in Nicaragua during college. “My favorite place to travel is probably anywhere I haven’t been yet!”
Pets: She has a spunky three year old British Black named Poppy
Least Favorite Food: Pickles or cotton candy

Kaitlyn Roth
YLB Vice-Chair

Kaitlyn Roth YLB

Madison Hertog
YLB Secretary

Madison Hertog
Madison Hertog with a fish

Madison is currently an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota studying Pre-Med Biology, Society, and Environment in the college of liberal arts. She also works at CVS as a pharmacy technician.

Madison’s connection to the YLB is the story we hope to change. Her mom was diagnosed with stage 4 EGFR non-small cell carcinoma lung cancer in October 2015 and after a short battle, she passed in October 2016. Madison serves on the YLB because she knows that more research and improved awareness about this disease could help other families by finding lung cancer earlier for better outcomes.

Madison is an avid reader and her current favorite book is The Quiet Girl by S.F. Kosa.

Fun Fact: Madison is on the women’s rugby team at the University of Minnesota! She is a huge sports fan and enjoys supporting other Gopher sports when she is not playing herself.
Least Favorite Food: Sweet potatoes

Natalie is truly honored and blessed to be a part of this life-changing organization that is standing up to lung cancer with action and education. ABOH was and has continued to be a source of hope and light for Natalie and her family. Natalie and her mom Liz discovered ABOH while sitting in a clinic when Liz was receiving chemotherapy for stage 3 advanced non-small cell adenocarcinoma. Natalie and Liz felt aligned with ABOH’s focus on increasing lung cancer awareness and education to reduce late-stage diagnoses and provide improved treatments.

Liz was diagnosed in August 2020 and fought like a true warrior for 2 years until she lost her battle in August of 2022. Liz volunteered, served in her community & church, and worked as a nurse during her battle. She even worked the week before she had brain surgery. She was such a vibrant and caring individual and was the epitome of giving and serving others before herself. Natalie is inspired to volunteer for her mom and so many others who have been negatively affected by cancer.

Natalie has education in leadership development and holds a bachelor’s degree in science education. She taught middle school and high school science for a couple of years until recently she decided to go back to school for nursing with hopes of working in oncology someday.

Natalie is interested in changing the stigma attached to lung cancer and increasing research for everyone affected by lung cancer.  

Fun Fact: Natalie is passionate about coaching soccer and mentoring youth. She loves the ocean, sunflowers, agate hunting, and photography.
Pets: She has an orange tabby cat named LuLu and a tuxedo kitty named Mittens. She also has two Dachshund fur nephews named Oskar and Rupert.

Natalie Engel
YLB Director