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Board of Directors & Staff

Aaron McBain
Jamie Cresswell (2016) - Chair

Jamie grew up in a small community outside of Sudbury. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Laurentian University, and later attended Algonquin College in Ottawa for his electrical apprenticeship. He worked for many years in the electrical trade, performing work in residential, commercial, industrial and mining workplaces. It was during his time while working with a local mining company that he got involved in health and safety, which lead to his role as Superintendent Safety and Training at Redpath Canada.

Jamie’s son was diagnosed with a stage 3 brain tumour, 3yrs ago, he underwent emergency surgery to remove the tumour, and that was followed up with radiation and chemotherapy treatments. His son required a second surgery to remove cancerous tissue; however, after this surgery no radiation or chemotherapy was required. His son continues to be monitored at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto.

We are extremely grateful to NOFCC for providing assistance; we were able to focus on our son’s health, and know that there was an organization that would support us if required.

Aaron McBain
Sarah Kennedy (2017)

Sarah was born and raised in the Greater Sudbury area. She has taken the Culinary Arts Program at Cambrian College. Beyond making a fabulous meal, the program provided her with an excellent suite of culinary and kitchen management skills. However, she soon realized that while she loved cooking, she was better suited for a career in her family’s business. She joined her father, who owns a successful construction and fastener retail company in Sudbury, as a Salesperson. Sarah always loved the versatility that working in the construction and mining industry brought. She thoroughly enjoys being a Salesperson in this industry. From her extensive experience in her family business, she moved on to become a successful Sales Coordinator for ATCO Structures and Logistics. 

On February 11, 2017 Sarah and her husband, Codi, heard the worst words a parent could possibly hear “your son has cancer.” Almost immediately, her son Malleck and his father were flown to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. Sarah, a new mother to 6 week old Brooklyn, travelled back and fourth to ensure she was doing her best to be with her son and husband as well as their newest addition. 

Shortly after her son started treatment they were able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House together as a family. While going through this whirlwind of hospital stays, visits and learning about her sons diagnosis, she was introduced to NOFCC. 

NOFCC reassured Sarah that the organization would always be there for her and her family, with many means of support, including financial assistance and emotional support during the long road ahead. She is extremely thankful to have the organization to lean on when needed. Sarah wants to do everything she can to help other families during these times to the best of her ability. 

Her decision to become a board member for the NOFCC was not a difficult one. She quickly recognized the value and compassionate support needed for Northern families who experience a childhood cancer diagnosis. 

Malleck, while presently in a management state, is not nearly done with his treatment. Thankfully, he is doing well and she and her family are continuing to learn about the journey ahead.

Aaron McBain
Mike Squarzolo (2017)

Mike was born and raised in the Sudbury area. He attended Laurentian University and Cambrian College and is currently employed by the City of Greater Sudbury as a Captain with the Fire Services.

Mike’s middle child Jacob was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma at the age of 10 months in 2003. Treatments required extensive travel to the United States as well as to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa and Sick Kids in Toronto. His therapies involved specialized treatments, costly experimental drugs and procedures which spanned 7 years. Today his son is a healthy teenager. NOFCC was a huge support to Mike’s family throughout Jacob’s illness. Therefore, Mike feels privileged to be giving back to the organization by serving as a volunteer Board Member to help support Northern Ontario Families.

 

Aaron McBain
Jane Rodrigues (2019) Secretary

Jane was born and raised in the Sudbury area and attended Laurentian University, graduating with a BA degree in 1968. After attending teachers’ college she taught at Marymount College until 1980.Jane has two children, Matthew who works as a medical physicist for a pharmaceutical company in Seattle Washington and Sara who lives in Toronto and is a senior policy analyst with the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Jane has held a variety of jobs in her lifetime, but since 2001 has been the Teacher Librarian at St. Charles College.In the past Jane has volunteered at the Cancer Centre, the Hospice, and the Ronald MacDonald Family Room. She is presently a volunteer with the Angels in Pink and Seniors Helping Seniors in Coniston. When she was asked to join the board of the NOFCC she was pleased to accept as this is such a wonderful organization that is focused on health issues for northern families.

Aaron McBain
Bernie Beland (2019)

Bernie was born and raised in the Sudbury area. He retired after a nearly forty year career as a Bank Manager and Certified Financial Planner. His career moves allowed him to enjoy living in fourteen cities and towns in north eastern Ontario while making many good friends along that journey.

While living in these many communities, Bernie was a member of various charitable focused  local fraternities, local business organizations and children’s sports organizations.

Given the loss to cancer of two older brothers, two brothers-in-law, and his only God Child, and his wife’s parents, he volunteered for a few years with the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and Camp Quality which exists for children with cancer. After joining the NOFCC Board of Directors, Bernie’s granddaughter was diagnosed with cancer and is currently cancer free. Initially, he had proudly accepted the opportunity to volunteer as NOFCC’s Treasurer and served in that position for approximately three years.

Aaron McBain
Veronyk Zinn (2021)

Véronyk was born and raised in a small community in Northern Ontario. She graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Commerce at Laurentian University where she worked as a Marketing Intern and then joined Tutor Doctor as an Education Consultant. 

In high school, she was president of the student council and developed a love and passion for fundraising. She is now married and is the blessed mom of two beautiful little girls and takes great pride in changing the trajectory of students’ lives and giving back to her community.

In her spare time, Véronyk enjoys spending time outdoors on the lake or by the pool with her husband, daughters and their dog Hemi. 

Véronyk was introduced to NOFCC through another board member and is honoured to now be a part of the Board of Directors with the hope of bringing more awareness to childhood cancer while also helping the charity to grow. 

Aaron McBain
Lissa Lynn Gagnon (2022)

Lissa Lynn Gagnon is a Professor with the School of Nursing, Laurentian University. After accomplishing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1996, she pursued graduate studies focusing on work environments in oncology nursing. She subsequently obtained her Master of Science in Nursing in 2008.

Since graduating, Lissa has assumed various roles and responsibilities for positions such as staff nurse, nurse manager, and nurse educator. She is pleased to be an active Board member of Northern Ontario Families of Children with Cancer.

Aaron McBain
Shannon Myher (2022) - Treasurer

Shannon grew up in Sudbury. She attended Laurentian University and graduated in 2008 with a
Bachelor’s of Engineering. She spent several years gaining experience as a Junior Engineer at various
mine sites in Ontario and Quebec and obtained her P.Eng. designation in early 2015. She returned to LU
to complete her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting, graduated in 2019, and obtained her
CPA designation in the fall of 2021.
Shannon now finds herself working in the mining industry once more, in an accounting capacity.
She is honoured to have been accepted into the NOFCC community as the Treasurer and hopes that her
contributions can offer some support to those who must navigate the challenges associated with
childhood cancer.

Aaron McBain
Andrea Lamarche (2023)

Andrea was born and raised in North Bay Ontario. She recently graduated from Nipissing University with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. She now works at Health Sciences North on the Pediatric Unit as a Registered Nurse. 

In May 2012, when Andrea was 15, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She was flown to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and spent several weeks in Ottawa. Her and her family traveled back and forth to Ottawa from North Bay during the course of her treatments. Andrea’s family was assisted by NOFCC through many of their programs. 

In the summer of 2018, when NOFCC was hiring Andrea was hired as Assistant to the Executive Director and eventually took on the role of Volunteer Coordinator. When Andrea decided to go back to school to become a nurse she had to take a step away from NOFCC but always knew she would come back to be involved in some manner. 

Once Andrea moved to Sudbury to complete her Preceptorship for Nursing School she wanted to get involved in some way with NOFCC. In the winter of 2022-2023, Andrea applied to the Board of Directors at NOFCC and was taken on. 

Andrea is super grateful to the help that NOFCC provided to her family and is hoping that she can by working on the board help other families going through what her family went through.

Staff

Dayna Caruso
Dayna Caruso (2012) – Executive Director

Dayna is a Honours graduate of the Psychology Program at Laurentian University and has special qualifications in neuroscience, family life studies, sexuality and women’s studies. Dayna worked as a Brain Injury Rehabilitation Worker for the Northern Lights Program and Ontario March of Dimes for 7 years, being hired in her 2nd year of her Honours BA.

Dayna was hired by the Board of Directors in 2012 to help recruit volunteers and manage the fundraising for the organization. She was quickly promoted to Executive Director in 2014 as the needs of the charity began to grow and the responsibilities of her position required more attention. Dayna has played an important role in growing the name of the charity and developing it into the organization it is today.

Dayna was honoured to be nominated and win a 40 Under Forty Award for the Greater City of Sudbury in 2019.

Dayna Caruso
Andrea Fortin – Program & Office Coordinator (2022)

Andrea was born and raised in the Sudbury area. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Biology and a minor in Ethics from Laurentian University. She later pursued a Master of Health Sciences degree specializing in Epidemiology at Lakehead University.

While completing her studies, Andrea has undertaken numerous leadership positions. As a student ambassador, she worked as part of a team to plan and deliver student engagement events that have reached thousands of students. Through the EXCEL leadership program, Andrea has developed and facilitated leadership workshops and has completed over 100 service hours. In her role as the Vice-President of Lakehead University’s Shelter House volunteer group, she recruited and trained volunteers to prepare and serve meals for people living with homelessness. Working alongside community members, this group was able to feed over 200 individuals in need at each sitting.

Andrea was first introduced to NOFCC in high school. At that time, she put together fundraisers including a bottle drive and BBQ to support the efforts put forward by the organization. After becoming a parent and moving back to her hometown, Andrea wanted to become more deeply involved as part of NOFCC’s Board of Directors and Fundraising Committee.

It has been an honour to serve on the Board of Directors and the Fundraising Committee this past year. I look forward to supporting Northern families who have a child diagnosed with cancer moving forward as the NOFCC Program & Office Coordinator.