Grant Roesler is one of the founders of this organization, himself a cancer survivor. Receiving a diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 18, Grant spent what would have been his freshman year in college undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments instead. Once given a clean bill of health, his desire to give back compelled him to serve as a volunteer for the Children’s Cancer Association (CCA) during his summer breaks from college. Soon after graduation, he was hired at CCA full time as their Family Resource Coordinator. Through contacts made over the next few years with patients, families, doctors, and other hospital staff—and also drawing from personal experience—he felt compelled to form an organization focused solely on meeting the unique needs of teens and young adults with cancer. He worked tirelessly with oncology nurse, John Blalock, and friends Rebecca Taylor (a co-survivor) and Ryan Murphey (a cancer survivor) to form Oncology Youth Connection, a non-profit created to assist young adult cancer patients and survivors in engaging activities, opportunities for reflective conversation, and promoting healthy physical, psychological and social development following their cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Grant believes in working closely with other organizations. He occasionally volunteers as a camp counselor with the American Cancer Society and has been known to shave his head to raise money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation whose mission is to provide funds for research for a cure of childhood cancers.
Terri Schwartz joined Cutwater Asset Management (formerly MBIA Asset Management) as Regional Director in August 2007, bringing more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. She represents Cutwater’s investment management services programs and maintains client relationships in the Pacific Northwest and Northern California. Prior to joining Cutwater, Ms. Schwartz worked for Northwest Capital Management, Inc. as a Financial Consultant /Principal and Director of Client Relations implementing and overseeing strategic marketing and business planning initiatives and client relations. She has also worked in various sales and marketing roles for Arnerich Massena & Associates, Inc., the Investment Consulting Group of Dain Bosworth, and Salomon Smith Barney gaining a broad range of experience in equities, fixed income, and commodities markets. Ms. Schwartz is a member of the Portland Educational Board of the Oregon Municipal Finance Officers Association.
Ms. Schwartz has served as volunteer for several local charities and philanthropic causes, and in addition to her position on the OYC Board, currently serves on the LaSalle College Preparatory Board of Trustees.
Carley Dillon comes to Youth Oncology Connection with five years of campaign, community relations and fundraising experience. Most recently, Carley runs a non-profit organization called Wild Canyon Games-a 3 day adventure race for adults. Prior to that she served as Political Director for Senator Gordon H. Smith’ s re-election campaign in Oregon. During her time on the campaign, Ms. Dillon was responsible for developing and managing a statewide grassroots grid of volunteers, committee members and regional supporters, designed to spotlight the former Senator’s achievements and goals for Oregon. In addition she also served as the executive director of the Oregon Victory Campaign, designed to assist and elect Republican candidates on the ballot. She also spent time working in Washington, DC for the Senator as the assistant to the Chief of Staff and as a staff member of the US Special Committee on Aging in which Senator Smith served as the Chairman.
Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Carley on now lives in Portland with her husband Jon and their Scottish terrier, Henry. Carley received a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from Seattle Pacific University in 2004. Carley has been with OYC since the beginning and loves being part of OYC because they provide support and resources to not only to a community of cancer survivors but also supports the friends and family of those with cancer.
Dr. Rebecca Block is a licensed clinical social worker with a PhD in social research. She is one of only a few PhD prepared social workers engaging in research in adolescent and young adult oncology. Dr. Block is co-chair of the Standards of Care Task Force in the Lance Armstrong Foundation Young Adult Alliance, the mental health director for Camp Starlight and co-chair for the Camp Starlight Planning Commission and a proud member of the Board of Directors for Oncology Youth Connection. She has worked in oncology both as a clinical social worker and as a researcher. The synergy of life experience, clinical and research skills, and connection to social and professional community continues to inspire, motivate and move Dr. Block in all of the work that she does.
“Being diagnosed with an life-challenging illness such as cancer early in adulthood or during the transition into adulthood has lasting and profound effects. Bearing witness to the struggles, heartbreak and resilience in the young people I have worked with over the years inspires me extend my work from the hospital and into the community.”
Kevin Curry spent more than a decade using words to keep – or get – politicians and businesses out of trouble before turning those words on fictional characters. He has written or co-written several screenplays, dozens of television commercials and penned a textbook chapter on political advertising. Kevin is partner in Portland-based Lyon Films (www.LyonFilms.com) and a co-founder of Relium Media (www.ReliumMedia.com). Since 1996, he has taught communication courses as an adjunct professor at Linfield College. Kevin has a bachelor’s degree from Linfield College and a master’s degree from U. of Washington.
“Two people inspired me to serve on the OYC Board: Grant Roesler and my aunt, Sue Curry. I’m moved by Grant’s decision to take a trying time in his life and use it to help others. My Aunt Sue, who died of cancer in 2009, spent her life helping young adults, and I serve to honor her memory.”
Rebecca is a registered nurse at Legacy Emanual Medical Center. She completed her senior practicum in Doernbecher’s Hematology-Oncology Unit and hopes to work in pediatric oncology in the future. Rebecca was inspired to help create Oncology Youth Connection after her boyfriend, Kyle, passed away at the age of 19 after a tough 6-year journey with cancer. She worked closely with Grant Roesler and John Blalock to help create the vision and mission of the organization.
Once her two sons were nearly grown, Susan spent almost 10 years working in various positions at the Home Builders Association of Portland, most of that time focused on the charitable arm of the association, the Home Builders Foundation. The time spent working in event planning, fundraising, scholarship development, and board management has served her well as she helped the founders of Oncology Youth Connection launch and grow the organization. Past jobs include working in both the wholesale and retail side of the optical business and in the office of her children’s elementary school. Since 2008 she has worked as a realtor, and is now licensed with Summa Professionals in Lake Oswego. She served two years on the board of the Equity Group Foundation, helping to decide how to disperse funds to grant applicants representing various local charities. She is passionate about the work the Oncology Youth Connection is doing with teen and young adults with cancer, having experienced the devastation of receiving the cancer diagnosis of her youngest son within weeks of his graduation from high school.
June Wiyrick Flores provides counsel to individuals and business owners on asset protection and wealth preservation through estate planning, estate and trust administration, entity formation and business planning. She works with closely-held and family owned businesses as general counsel and assists with succession planning. June is an experienced estate planning attorney and advises clients on probate avoidance trusts, tax planning trusts, special needs and special purpose trusts. In addition, June assists clients with asset protection, including prenuptial agreements and domestic partnership agreements. June is a frequent speaker on estate and tax planning topics.
June also serves on a steering committee for the Fred G. Hutchinson Caner Research Institute; a volunteer with the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Oregon, Inc.; and as a Director for the Home Builders Foundation of Metropolitan Portland.
Neal is the President of Bauer Graphics, a creatively-led, full-service design company that offers an alternative to the high-priced creative agencies while providing a community for many of Portlands most talented print, Illustration and web designers.brings search engine optimization (SEO) & large business leadership experience in marketing, branding, project management and sales with such companies as Hollywood Entertainment, Nintendo of America, SCEA and the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB).