About Us2018-12-14T13:19:59+00:00

Our Story

ALK Positive was created as a Facebook support group where Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) patients and caregivers afflicted with the Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) gene mutation/rearrangement could get support from like patients.  NSCLC ALK Positive patients make up only about five percent of all lung cancer diagnoses each year.  Our group has more than 700 ALK Positives from all over the world, and growing every day.  Our name and logos were created by our members.

Our Approach

ALK Positive web site is a support site with forums for members, and a portal to perform outreach activities that will promote fundraising, improve visibility to potential benefactors of patient-driven fund raising, and increase partnerships with organizations with similar goals.  ALK Positive seeks to partner with research entities who are furthering ALK research and treatment options that prolong survivability and eventually attain chronic status for all ALK Positives, all over the world.  We want to solve the puzzle of Lung Cancer!

Meet our ALK Positive leaders who work to further our goals

Merita Carroll

Patient / Founder of ALK Positive Support Group
At diagnosis Merita was a vibrant healthy young woman working as a registered nurse when diagnosed at Stage IV.  She was diagnosed on March 6, 2015 and sadly passed away on April 24, 2018.

Tom Carroll

Caregiver / Co-Founder ALK Positive Support Group / Group Administrator / OMG Vice President
Tom was Merita’s Primary Caregiver and ALK Positive Facebook group administrator.  He retired from a 30-year Coast Guard career one month before Merita first became ill.  He retains a lifetime position of Chairman Emeritus with ALK Positive Outreach Management Group.

Gina Hollenbeck

Patient / Outreach Management Group President
I am a Stage IV cancer fighter. Wife, mother, daughter, Nurse, exercise enthusiast, lover of life!

Bill Westlake

Patient / Outreach Management Group Treasurer
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.

Stephen Huff

Patient / Outreach Management Group Secretary
Stephen Huff is a proud husband, high school teacher, lung cancer advocate, and founder of The Huff Project. He was diagnosed with stage IV NSCLC in June, 2017 and feels very thankful for modern medicine and to be ALK Positive!

Colin Barton

Patient / Outreach Management Group Medical and Pharmaceutical Advocacy Committee Chair
I am a husband, father, retired dentist, diagnosed ALK Positive Stage 4 lung cancer in 2016. I want to help all ALK Positive patients be able to live long happy lives!!

Rhonda Jones Meckstroth

Caregiver / Outreach Management Group Membership, Alliance, Media Committee Chair / Support Group Administrator
I’m the primary caregiver to my husband Jeff who was diagnosed Stage IV in December 2015.  We met through our work at the Piqua Fire Department 1990 and married in 1997.

Renee Westlake

Caregiver / Outreach Management Group Political Advocacy Chair
I advocate in honor of my husband, Bill Westlake, who was diagnosed in July of 2017. We have five children. I am a 20+ year educator, specializing in the teaching of reading and of lit/comp.

Nancee Pronsati

Patient / Outreach Management Group Fundraising Chair
Bio and photo coming

Mandie Hiznay

Caregiver / Outreach Management Group Member
Mandie is a caregiver advocate who became involved when her son Matthew was diagnosed at age 24 with Stage IV NSCLC. That was six years ago. The road has not always been smooth but we keep walking!

Virginia Byrne

Patient / Outreach Management Group Member

Michael McCarty

Survivor / Outreach Group
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.

Julie Silberger

Survivor / Outreach Group
I was diagnosed with Stage IV ALK+ lung cancer in 2016. A strategy consultant and “older Mom”, I live with my husband and our three young daughters in the Virginia suburbs of Washington DC. I am dedicated to advocating for medical research with the goal of finding better treatments and maybe someday a cure!

Jennifer Cosgrove

Patient / Outreach Management Group Member
Stage IV lung cancer survivor diagnosed June 2017. So blessed to be ALK positive. I’m a 38 year old Mom of three young children. Willing to do my part towards finding a cure for lung cancer!

Vivek Tomar

Caregiver / Outreach Management Group Member / National Coordinator India
Vivek is a caregiver of his beautiful wife Kusum who was diagnosed at age 29 with Stage IV NSCLC ALK-positive lung cancer. He became an advocate and very instrumental in working with different stakeholders for better access to latest treatments and clinical trials for ALK-positive lung cancer patients. He works to improve lung cancer advocacy in India for all lung cancer survivors.

Millie Torchia

Patient / Outreach Management Group Member
I am a wife, mother of 3 girls and work full time in Financial industry. My world changed June 2017 when I was diagnosed with stage IV Lung Cancer. I am extremely grateful to modern medicine and to be ALK positive.

Clark Evans

Patient / Outreach Management Group Member
Stage IV lung cancer survivor, diagnosed November 2015. Husband and father to 2 grown children. Founding partner in boutique CPA firm focusing on providing fractional CFO service and tax planning to start-ups and small businesses. Lives in Virginia.

Leslie Trahan

Caregiver / Outreach Management Group Member / Support Group Moderator
First and foremost I am a wife and mother of 3. By trade I am a Speech-Language Pathologist and work with children. I am also a lung cancer advocate and caregiver to my husband, Andy.

Frank Sierawski

Patient / Outreach Management Group Member
Frank is a husband and father of three boys.  When he’s not outliving Stage 4 lung cancer and supporting others, he’s working full time for Union Pacific Railroad and doing fun stuff with the family.

Emily Huff

Caregiver / Outreach Management Group Member
Emily Huff is a caregiver advocate for her husband Stephen, who was diagnosed with stage IV NSCLC in June, 2017. Emily is also the Client Solutions Director for the travel guide publishing company Lonely Planet and co-founder of The Huff Project.

Christine Tsai

Caregiver / Support Group Administrator
I am the primary caregiver to my husband.

Parisa Abdeamin

Caregiver / Support Group Moderator
I’m a wife and mother of two, who works as a Chiropractic assistant with my Chiropractor husband, Hossein, in the business we started 10-years ago.  He was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in December 2015.

Yeo Teck Chuan

Caregiver / Support Group Moderator
I am a caregiver to my wife Irene who was diagnosed with Stage IV NSCLC in May 2017. I am an accountant with my own audit and financial advisory practices in China and Laos.