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Our Story

WE ARE A PATIENT-DRIVEN GROUP, PROVIDING INFORMATION, SUPPORT, EMPATHY & RESEARCH FUNDING TO CHANGE THE FUTURE OF ALK-POSITIVE LUNG CANCER. 


ALK Positive consists of 1,600+ ALK-positive lung cancer patients and their caregivers in 42+ countries. Through our foundational online support group, we are able to support each other worldwide and share information to become empowered patients-advocates. 

We believe in taking control of your own heath and future. We directly support high-impact research that improves patient outcomes and has the potential to transform ALK-positive lung cancer into a chronic (and maybe someday, cured) condition.

We seek to partner with entities who are furthering ALK-positive lung cancer research and treatment options. Please contact us if you are a potential partner.


 

Founded by a patient, lead by patients and caregivers

We are patient-strong

 
 

Meet our Founder

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Merita Carroll

Founder, passed 2018

ALK Positive was created by Merita Carroll in 2015. She wanted a support community where ALK-positive lung cancer patients, like herself, and caregivers could share their personal experience with this condition.

Merita was a vibrant healthy young woman working as a registered nurse when diagnosed Stage IV. She was diagnosed on March 6, 2015 and, sadly, passed away on April 24, 2018.

Read her full story here


Executive Team

ALK Positive Outreach Management Group (OMG), founded in April 2017, is the advocacy arm of the ALK Positive Support Group. ALK Positive OMG is a fiscally sponsored organization by the LUNGevity Foundation as per IRS code for 501(c)(3) non-profits. All funds raised are through the LUNGevity Foundation, but used specifically for ALK Positive projects in accordance with IRS code.

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Gina Hollenbeck

President, Patient

I am a Stage IV cancer fighter. Wife, mother, daughter, nurse, exercise enthusiast, and lover of life!

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MICHAEL MCCARTY

Vice President, PATIENT

I’m a stage IV lung cancer survivor; diagnosed September, 2012. I live in Michigan with my wife and 3 children where I continue to work full time as an attorney.

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Bill Westlake

Treasurer, Patient

I’m 51 years old with a loving wife and family of 5 kids (2 in their 20’s). I was diagnosed stage 4 NSCLC in July 2017. Feeling fortunate to be ALK positive and remain positive for a cure.

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CHRISTINA WEBER

Secretary, CAREGIVER

I am a caregiver to my husband, Carl, who was diagnosed in 2017 at 33. I am also a mother, student, and small business owner. I hold a BA in Communication & Media Studies and an MSc in Political Science.

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Colin Barton

Pharmaceutical Advocacy Committee Chair, patient

I am a husband, father, retired dentist, diagnosed ALK Positive Stage IV lung cancer in 2016. I want to help all ALK Positive patients be able to live long happy lives!

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Rhonda Meckstroth

Membership, Alliance & Media Committee Chair, caregiver

I’m the primary caregiver to my husband Jeff who was diagnosed Stage IV in December 2015. Advocating for lung cancer is a way to show my gratitude.

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Jordan Garst

Political Advocacy COMMITTEE Chair, caregiver

I am an ALK Caregiver and a lead Clinical Research Coordinator in Lung Cancer. I want to use my education and experience to cure this disease.

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Tina Casebeer

Fundraising Committee Chair, Caregiver

I am honored to support the organization that has helped my sister, Cori, so much. She was diagnosed at 32. I love nature, tea, art, and my giant French Bulldog, Ludo.