Volunteer Recognition

“I am so thankful for everyone at AFTD and for all of the volunteers. It’s really remarkable when people come together to work towards bettering this world.” – Amy Eissler, AFTD Volunteer

In recognition of National Volunteer Week 2018, AFTD honors our amazing volunteers with this video. We appreciate all those who devote their time to furthering our shared mission of bringing help and hope to families across the U.S. and throughout the world!

AFTD Volunteer Charles Elligson

While caring for his wife Janet Collins Elligson at home for several years, Charles Elligson of North Carolina found support through a local FTD support group. He found information and resources through AFTD.

Charles says that he could not have survived his caregiving years without both. Today, as an AFTD volunteer, he channels his personal experience with FTD into a role as an AFTD-affiliated support group facilitator, and efforts to raise awareness.

Tell us about your volunteer experiences to date.

I went through the formal training to become an AFTD-affiliated support group facilitator. I also raise awareness about FTD, AFTD and caregiving through speaking engagements and table settings for various organizations and professional networks, as well as with my local church community.

How has the overall volunteer experience made you feel?

It brings deep satisfaction and true joy to know that you are using your gifts and skills to bring support group members together. They bring light, hope, and practical answers to seemingly unsolvable problems…It is also a great feeling to be able to educate the community at large about FTD and the impact it has on everyone involved. In a dark world, there’s now light.

What you have learned from your volunteer experiences so far?

As a support group facilitator I have learned greater understanding of the unique way FTD presents in persons diagnosed. I’ve learned ways to tailor FTD information and support to fit the many unique FTD situations; and a true sense of how facilitation can contribute to group learning. Through my awareness efforts I have discovered that people are interested and want to learn more.

What would you say to people who are considering volunteering with AFTD?

AFTD offers volunteers easy access, guidance on how to move forward, and support materials so you can feel confident in your volunteer role. Thanks to the support and guidance provided by Regional Coordinator Volunteers like Michelle Grant, you know you are not alone. Additionally, AFTD offers excellent ongoing training.

Anything else you wish to share?

There is hope! A year and a half after Janet’s passing, her closest friend introduced me to a Presbyterian minister, Rev. Jeannette Hickman. We married a year later.

“Charles continues to surprise me with his outreach efforts, identifying new opportunities to educate the community,” said South Atlantic Regional Coordinator Volunteer Michelle Grant. “We are grateful for his continued service to support AFTD’s mission.”

To view past AFTD profiled volunteers for their outstanding service to the organization, see the links below:

Scott Cain
Colleen Seymour
Mark Allshouse
Jamie Mosier
Susan Eissler
Jody Zorn
Kacy Kunesh
Mary Campbell
David Driggers
Mary Selman
Brianna Sullivan
Angela Kimble
Barbara Neufeld
Mary Black

Recent Volunteers

AFTD is able to accomplish much more than otherwise possible as a result of our generous volunteers. To the volunteers across the country we say THANK YOU for your dedication and commitment as we work together towards care and a cure for FTD.

Middle Atlantic Region
Mark Allshouse – Pennsylvania
Carli Atkinson – New York
Jane Barnes – Maryland
Steve Bellwoar – Pennsylvania
Mary Ann Buckley – Maryland
Kathryn Caruso – New Jersey
Helen-Ann Comstock – Pennsylvania
Nancy Cummings – New York
Judith Daniel – Maryland
Corey Esannason – New York
Catherine Gardner – Pennsylvania
Sylvia Gentry – Pennsylvania
Christine Groth – New York
Kimberly Gube – Washington DC
Barbara Hala – New York
Daniel Hedaya – New York
Jenny Hinsman – New York
Sue Hirsch – Pennsylvania
Dave Hixon – Pennsylvania
Hillary Horgan – Maryland
Gail Houseman – Pennsylvania
Diane Illis – Pennsylvania
Sandy Karger – Pennsylvania
Patricia Lombreglia – New Jersey
Carol Lovett – Pennsylvania
Robin Mansfield – Maryland
Katherine McAndrew – Virginia
Kathy Mele – New York
Susan Miller-Abbott – Pennsylvania
Jennifer Morabito – Maryland
Susan Murphy – Maryland
Cindy Odell – Pennsylvania
Lisa Pessah-Bloom – New York
Angie Phelon – Virginia
Barbara Pickels – Virginia
Gary Radin – New Jersey
Chris Roach – New York
Brian Rose – New York
Elaine Rose – Maryland
Pop Shenian – Pennsylvania
Elizabeth Soriero – New Jersey
Sarah Sozansky Beil – Virginia
Cathy Sperrick – New York
Barbara Stolz – Pennsylvania
Kristel Stoveken – Pennsylvania
Lilly Triandafilou – Maryland
Chase Trimmer – Pennsylvania
Stuart Waldman – New Jersey
Rebecca Wetzel – New Jersey
Sidney Williams – New Jersey
Jody Zorn – New York

Southwest Region
Karine Adalian – California
Deanna Angello – California
Rukhsana Ansari – California
Rebecca Chance Cordova – Colorado
Kris D. Corbett – California
Sarah Ezrin – California
Edward Fargusson – California
Debbie Fenoglio – Colorado
Ada Gerard – California
Jamie Gordon – Utah
Larissa Haiker – California
Ariel Harden – California
Liz Johnston – California
Valerie Jordan – Colorado
Jan M. Keller – California
Jary Larsen – California
Rachael Light – California
Andrea Maga – Colorado
Phyllis Mason – Nevada
Phillip Myers – California
Doug Polenz – Arizona
Peter Pressman – Colorado
Kat Primeau – California
Lisa Radin – Nevada
Robin Riddle – California
Colleen Seymour – Colorado
Jill Shapira – California
Catherine Sharpsteen – Utah
Bonnie Shepherd – Utah
Shaula Stephenson – California
Michael Stowell – Colorado
Missey Toomey – Colorado
Kathy Urban – Colorado
Donna Velarde – California
Mary Wagstaff – California
Beth Walter – California
Terry L. Walter – California
Teresa Webb – Arizona
John Whitmarsh – California

South Atlantic Region
Robin Albright- Florida
Martha Allegri – Alabama
Lynda Ares – Alabama
Charlie Bryant-Pardini – North Carolina
Lisa Careccia – Florida
Lucy Carter – Tennessee
Charles Elligson – North Carolina
Lark Fiore – North Carolina
Michelle Grant – North Carolina
Lisa Gwyther – North Carolina
Rod Hall – Georgia
Sharon Hall – Georgia
Matt Hatfield – Florida
Jerry Horn – Alabama
Leslie Johnson – Alabama
Rona Klein – North Carolina
Leigh Knosher – Alabama
Kathy LaFone – North Carolina
Paul Lester – North Carolina
Sandra Lutz – Florida
Dan Moser – Florida
Mary Revels – South Carolina
Susan Treanor – Florida
Mary Anne Upham – Florida
Rebekah Wilson – Tennessee
Katie Woodford – North Carolina
Kathryn Zenger – South Carolina

Midwest Region
Gail Andersen – Ohio
Deanna Baker – Illinois
Kayla Boehmer – Iowa
Vickie Bope – Ohio
Lauren Brasse – Ohio
Michelle Braun – Wisconsin
Frank Callea – Illinois
Diane Cole – Michigan
Sandra Cournoyer – Minnesota
Hope DePratt – Illinois
Mike Dircksen – South Dakota
Deborah Dolan – Iowa
Laura Dropps – Minnesota
James Fenske – Wisconsin
Lisa Ficker – Michigan
Maria Green – Iowa
Sandi Grow – Ohio
Margaret Haferman – Wisconsin
Darrell Hawley – Michigan
Katrina Hellman – Illinois
Suzanne King – Ohio
Kimberly Lueken – Illinois
Sarah Lunneborg-Vance – Minnesota
Jeff Main – Nebraska
Susan McEwan – Michigan
Mary Beth Mixdorf – Minnesota
Jon Moretti – Michigan
Deb Nash – Iowa
Al Papesh – Iowa
Sandra Pontious Leech – Ohio
Stephanie Potter – Illinois
Marianne Sanders – Ohio
Jennifer Sbarboro – Illinois
Lorene Schlie – Illinois
George J. Sidoris – Ohio
Dianne Simmer – Illinois
Sandra Weinman – Nebraska
Donna Wert – Indiana
Ryan Windhorst – Illinois

Northwest Region
Joseph Beaulieu – Washington
Susan Butterfield – Oregon
Amy Eissler Parker – Oregon
Joanne Linerud – Washington
Rachel Lower – Washington
Marise Rowell – Montana
Amy Shives – Washington
Daniele Vincent – Oregon
Steve Zamberlin – Washington

New England Region
Amy Almeida – Massachusetts
Chuck Anastasia – Rhode Island
Connie Archambault – New Hampshire
Dorian Bannister – Maine
Katie Brandt – Massachusetts
Rick Childs – Massachusetts
Lisa Donnellan – New Hampshire
Shirley Gordon – New Hampshire
Nancy Gorman – Massachusetts
Jo Guthrie – Massachusetts
Brandt Henderson – Massachusetts
Emily Levy – Massachusetts
Wendy Miller-Anello – Massachusetts
Justin Peavey – Massachusetts
Doreen Putnam – Rhode Island
Alyssa Radcliff – Maine
Daniel Ranti – Massachusetts
Meghan Roscoe – Connecticut

South Central Region
Doris Booth – Texas
Scott Cain – Arkansas
Rita Carlson – Louisiana
Rachel Castellenos – Louisiana
Dionne Coston – Texas
Jordan Daniels – Louisiana
Nicole DeLeve – Kansas
Sarah E. DeLuca – Missouri
Linda Driscoll – Kansas
Stephen Fenoglio –Texas
Barbara Harty – Texas
Zoy Kocian – Texas
Kacy Kunesh – Texas
Barbara Loewy – Texas
Stephanie McLain – Texas
Shana Nissen – Texas
Amy O’Bryant – Louisiana
Gary Peacock – Texas
Deborah Price – Texas
Stacy Rathbone – Oklahoma
Tam Smith – Kansas
Susan Suchan – Oklahoma
Craig Tomes – Texas
Tiffany Turner – Oklahoma
Deandra Welch – Texas
Ruth Wilcox – Kansas

International Volunteers

Matt Dineen – Canada
Mary McLeod – Canada
Joan Harper – United Kingdom