October’s Volunteer of the Month: Cass Hanlon
October’s volunteer of the month is Cass Hanlon. She hails from Virginia, and like so many AFTD volunteers, strives to help other families facing FTD and a similar journey to her own. A week after her high school graduation, Cass and her younger sisters learned of their dad’s diagnosis of bvFTD, a disease formerly unknown to their family and friends. “At such young ages, when you turn to your friends to talk about your problems, it was hard knowing that none of our friends truly understood what we were going through. Especially since we didn’t fully understand it ourselves,” Cass says.
Knowing firsthand the difficulty and loneliness involved in caring for a parent with FTD — especially at such a young age — Cass is passionate about letting others know that there is a community that stands behind them, and can offer a supportive and compassionate presence. “There are so many teens and young adults that find themselves in the same position I was at 18 years old,” Cass shares. “I started volunteering with AFTD because I want to spread awareness, and ensure that no child feels that they are alone on this journey. There is a community that understands, and there are resources available to educate and support them.”
Recently, Cass began volunteering as a Food for Thought Liaison, connecting with other volunteers to ensure they feel confident in hosting their events. In the coming years, she intends to host her own fundraising and community events, while continuing to advocate for those diagnosed with FTD and their families.
AFTD is grateful to Cass for the service and dedication she showed while supporting and cheering on Food for Thought hosts during the 2021 campaign, and for her passion for helping others on their FTD journey. If you’re interested in becoming a part of our national volunteer network, please visit our website to learn more, and fill out our volunteer form to get started!
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