Our Board of Directors and staff work tirelessly to promote awareness of, and research equity for, metastatic breast cancer. Many of our board members are metastatic patients themselves, while others are dedicated advocates who stand side by side with us in the fight to reduce deaths from breast cancer.
Sonya joined the METAvivor team in 2016.
Scientific Review Officer
When I was a PhD candidate at Vanderbilt University, my work focused on novel ways to treat metastatic breast and colon cancer. During this time, I was privileged to serve as a lead academic partner of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center patient advocates.
My desire to improve outcomes for metastatic cancer patients grew while working with patient advocates and inspired me to join the Metastasis Research Society as their Director of Programs and Engagement in 2016 and METAvivor as a Scientific Review Officer (SRO) in 2017. As METAvivor’s SRO, I really enjoy using my skills and knowledge to support the advancement of metastatic breast cancer research, which is so critically underfunded. I am also dedicated to the engagement of metastatic cancer patients in the research program to help to ensure the research addresses clinically relevant patient-desired outcomes.
I feel incredibly honored to be able to serve such an amazing community of metastatic cancer patients within such an outstanding organization. 100% of donations to METAvivor go directly to metastatic breast cancer research and I feel great responsibility in making sure those funds go to the most promising patient-desired projects for stage IV metastatic breast cancer patients, who are in desperate need of effective treatments.
CJ "Dian" Corneliussen-James
Founder, Director Emeritus and Past President of METAvivor
"CJ” retired from the Air Force in 2003 after serving 24 years as an intelligence officer. She then continued to work for the federal government in a civilian capacity until 2007 when complications from metastatic breast cancer cut her career short. CJ’s positions included, amongst others, monitoring and analyzing Soviet satellite activity during the Cold War, supporting airlift operations for Operation JUST CAUSE in Panama and Operation DESERT STORM in Iraq, serving as the intelligence lead on the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the Somalia Conflict, and coordinating intelligence activities of 11 nations for NATO crisis intervention.
Overseas tours included South Korea and Germany – the latter spent working with German intelligence organizations due to her fluency in German. Her last position in the Air Force carried over into her civil service career … that of resolving the cases of Americans who did not return from previous conflicts, primarily the Vietnam War and the first Gulf War.
In 2007 CJ started a support program for metastatic breast cancer. Within six months it had 24 members. It now serves as the prototype for METAvivor’s national Peer to Peer Support Program. In 2008 she produced a metastatic breast cancer ribbon pin and in 2009 she asked three other support group members, Avis Halberstadt, Karen Presswood and Rhonda Rhodes, to join her in founding the non-profit METAvivor to raise funds for metastatic breast cancer research.
Raised in Santa Cruz CA, CJ has lived in Annapolis MD since 1997, sharing her home with three rescue cats.
Virginia Elizabeth "Beth" Fairchild
“Beth”, as she is known to family and friends, has built a successful carer as an artist, her medium, tattoo pigments. Beth’s formal training and area of focus has been permanent cosmetics, scar camouflage, and areola restoration for breast cancer patients.
Originally from Greensboro, NC, in 2008 she moved to Scranton, PA, where she married her colleague and friend. There, they build a string of studios and organized an internationally recognized tattoo convention which is held annually in Atlantic City, NJ.
In 2011 Beth returned to NC, settling near the coast in New Bern, where she and her husband opened their fifth tattoo studio location. Although the recent diagnosis of MBC has slowed her down, Beth continues to work as an artist and producer, and has since added fierce MBC advocate to her resume.
Beth is the mother of two daughters and two German Shepherd dogs.
Member At Large
Monica brings passion and compassion to everything she does. She loves experiencing the wonder of new places and people and spending time in her native New Jersey with her daughter, Olivia and husband, Aaron.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts – Magna Cum Laude from Rutgers University and a Masters in Business from Drexel University.
Monica spent most of her professional career in Sales and Marketing at Johnson & Johnson’s in the Medical Device Division where she had a strong track record for developing high performoring people and businesses.
She also serves on the Board of The AIDS Resource Foundation for Children, a non-profit that provides comprehensive family-centered services to individuals, families, and children affected by HIV/AIDS and other social and health-related barriers.
Since being diagnosed, Monica feels compelled to do what she can to make Metastastic Breast Cancer a manageable chronic condition and is honored to be part of the Board of METAvivor Research and Support Inc.
Member at Large
Diagnosed Stage 1 in 2007, Michael was plunged into a foreign world – Breast Cancer. Within a few months following his diagnosis Michael discovered that he was BRCA2 positive. What followed was a time of denial, fear and a struggle to reach that magical 5 year mark where he believed he would be cured of cancer.
But with a recurrence in 2010 of Stage 1, Michael hit the wall of reality and knew it was time to face this disease. Taking an early retirement from his elementary teaching career in June 2012, Michael explored a new path. That November he began to write about his journey as a man living with breast cancer. In June 2014 Michael self-published his book, Healing Within: My Journey with Breast Cancer. Contacted by the Male Breast Cancer Coalition, Michael shared his story along with other male survivors and began his advocacy by speaking to various groups in upstate New York where he lives, writing about his breast cancer experiences for the anticancerclub.com and periodically co-hosting their video program CancerBlab/ CancerTalk, and hosting his own radio program on dreamvisions7radio.com.
In September 2015, Michael learned that his cancer had spread. He was now part of a breast cancer community he knew little about – the Metastatic community. Michael’s advocacy grew to teach, inform and connect others to the needs and concerns of those living with MBC and educating women and men that not only do men get Breast Cancer, men get Metastatic Breast Cancer.
Michael’s participation in METAvivior’s October 2017 Stage IV Stampede in Washington, DC cemented a connection to this amazing organization and the many passionate individuals who make up this community. He joined the METAvivior Board in January 2018.
Michael lives with his partner, Tim, in Greenwich, NY. His life is filled with advocacy, gardening, reading, time with Tim, friends and family, snowshoeing, and peaceful walks with their dog, Polar, in the fields surrounding their old farmhouse.
Kelly Lange has worked extensively as a patient advocate since her stage I breast cancer diagnosis in 1995. Kelly was re-diagnosed with regional recurrence in 2000 and has been in treatment for metastatic breast cancer since 2002. She has served on the Board of Directors at METAvivor since shortly after its founding in 2009. She has served as President of the organization and now serves as Treasurer.
Kelly was raised on Maryland's Kent Island and received a BS in Chemical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 1986. After two years in plastics at Armstrong, Kelly took a position with Bendix Field Engineering Corporation in 1988 as a software engineer. There, she developed antenna control and orbital mechanics software for NASA and Navy antennas, including the Naval Academy’s S-band telemetry antenna. In 1994 Kelly moved to Northrop Grumman where she developed software infrastructure for torpedo detection and synthetic aperture sonar systems.
Kelly lives in Annapolis, MD with her husband, Michael, where they enjoy boating on the Chesapeake Bay. When she can squeeze in the time, Kelly also enjoys knitting and quilting.
Patrick Quinn moved to Northwest Arkansas in 1998. He met Lisa (Cooper) Quinn in 2000 on Dickson Street in Fayetteville while they were attending the University of Arkansas. He graduated from the U of A with a M.A. in Communication. Patrick has spent 10 years in the restaurant industry working and has done everything from being a bus boy all the way to being a general manager. In 2006 he received his real estate license and has been working with Coldwell Banker Harris McHaney & Faucette Real Estate since then. He has been a top agent for the company including being the number one agent for the State of Arkansas in 2014.
The most important thing for him is to spend time with his family. He has coached his son, Cooper, in soccer since 2012. This has been a learning experience for him as well as for Cooper. In 2015 he tried to coach Karis at the age of 3, but she decided soccer wasn’t for her yet. If you stop by his house during the afternoon, you will most likely see him outside with his children playing some sort of games.
In 2015, Patrick’s wife, Lisa, was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. It was devastating and even more so when Patrick and Lisa learned that that she carries the BRCA2 gene mutation. This means there is a 50% chance that either one of their children will carry the gene mutation. Patrick and Lisa felt it was vital to get involved in an organization that has the best interests of men and women living with metastatic diseases in mind. After much research, they felt Metavivor had a mission that was in line with what will be necessary to truly make a difference.
After the initial shock of the diagnosis subsided (it never completely goes away), Patrick and Lisa partnered with Kelli Parker from Bella Vista, AR to form the NWA METSquerade. The METSquerade is a fundraiser that donates 100% of net profits to Metavivor. It takes place annually and is held in April in Rogers, AR. You can check out the NWA Metsquerade information at www.nwamets.org.
In 2016, the NWA METSquerade Committee collaborated to put together the METAribbon Challenge. The challenge is a way for individuals around the company to tell their story and raise funds for METAvivor. Within a month of kicking off the challenge, challengers from around the country raised over $20,000 and the METAribbon Challenge was born. It became a voice for the women throughout the country, and a way for them to support a cause where no monies were being misused. 100% of the donations go directly to metastatic research. You can check out more information about the challenge here.
If you are interested in supporting either the NWA METSquerade as a sponsor or through a donation or participating in the METAribbon Challenge, please feel free to contact Patrick at the information below.
Member At Large
Terlisa Sheppard is a 4-time breast cancer survivor for almost 20 years, who was first diagnosed with a stage 3 HER2+, ER+, PR+ diagnosis in 1998, at the age of 31. She was also 8 ½ months pregnant at the time. She has since been diagnosed in 2001, with metastases to her bones, lungs, and liver; in 2002, with metastases to her spine and abdomen; and a final time in 2003, with metastasis to her brain.
She is a proud graduate of Alabama State University, located in Montgomery, Alabama, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. She is the very proud mother of two beautiful daughters, Alexis and Alyah, whom are now students at her Alma Mater and both are majoring in accounting as well.
Terlisa started a small, nonprofit breast cancer organization called, “Terlisa Fights Breast Cancer, Inc.” so that she could use her diagnosis and breast cancer journey to motivate, encourage, and inspire countless other survivors to push through their illness, and “Live Their Best Life Every Day” that the Lord has blessed them to live on this earth.
Terlisa has touched the lives of people from all over the country, as her breast cancer journey/testimony has been featured on the local news station, various newspapers and video interviews, the cancer center website through UF Healthcare Cancer-Orlando, the AARP Journal and her very own website and social media pages.
Today, Terlisa lives with an up-most, positive attitude while fighting for her life on a daily basis and it is her continuous mission to always encourage other Survivors to do the same and fight along with her.
Director of Support
Katherine (Kay) Ann Campbell, 66, passed away at home in Crofton, MD on July 29th, 2014 from Metastatic Breast Cancer. Born on June 19, 1948 in London, England to Joseph and Helen Droter. The family moved to the Washington DC area in 1952 where Kay attended LaReine High School. She graduated with a BA in Education from Frostburg and an MA in Education from Bowie. In 1988, she received her Master's in Library Science (MLS) from the University of Maryland. She began her career as a classroom teacher in Prince George's County, and after having her children, taught at Crofton Woods Elementary. Overcoming a severe case of Polymyositis, she recharged with her MLS degree and became the media specialist at Broadneck Elementary, and then transferred to Brooklyn Park Middle School, where she retired in 2010. Kay was a long term resident of Arnold, MD before moving to Crofton in 2001. Her interests included gardening - specifically perennials, nature and her numerous book clubs. She enjoyed her volunteer work with Partners in Care and more recently as Director of Support for Metavivors. Best known for her fierce resilience and sense of humor, she is survived by her children: Jason and Kristy Campbell of Eaton, CO and Tressa and Sean Doordan of Annapolis, MD. Her grandchildren: Samantha Campbell and Sean Patrick Doordan. Her siblings: Bob and Kathie Droter of New Market, MD, Peggy and Alain Dessaint of Sarasota, FL; Richard and Rita Droter of Hillcrest Heights, MD; and Tom Droter of Silver Spring MD.
Cecilia "Cece" Curry
On Sunday, June 2, 2013 Cecilia Curry of Upper Marlboro, MD passed away from metastatic breast cancer. Beloved wife of Anthony "Tony" Curry; daughter of Richard Shelton and William and Vera Primrose; daughter-in-law of Pastor William and Deserie Curry; sister of Nicki Reid; sister-in-law of William and Dawn Curry; loving aunt of Erica Little, Gabrielle Curry, Jacob Curry and Timothy Curry.
Director of Advocacy
Co-Founder of METAvivor
Avis Halberstadt, age 68, a 30 year resident of the St. Margaret's area, died on August 4, 2014 from metastatic (stage 4) breast cancer. The daughter of the late Ethel and Milton Levy, Avis grew up in New Bedford, MA. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1967 with a degree in English and Education and began her teaching career as a second grade teacher in Cambridge, MA. She and her devoted husband, Fred, were married in 1970. In 1985, after moving to the Annapolis area, Avis continued her teaching career at Shipley's Choice Elementary School, Magothy River Middle School, and Severna Park Middle School until her retirement in 2006. In 1990, Avis began an SAT and Math tutoring business that she continued until recently. Avis was a "people person" and spent her life helping others. Diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 1998, she became a dedicated volunteer for the Maryland Affiliate of Komen for the Cure, working on many committees and culminating in her role as Chairperson of the 2007 Maryland Race for the Cure. That same year, Avis had surgery for primary stomach cancer. In November of 2007, she joined Compass, a support group at Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) for women with Stage 4 breast cancer. In 2009, she co-founded METAvivor Research and Support, a 501(c)3 non-profit for women and men with metastatic breast cancer, and served on their board, as well as being Treasurer and Fundraising Chair of the organization. Avis was also a member of the AAMC Institutional Review Board, which reviews all the clinical trials that doctors at AAMC seek to offer their patients, and was a member of the Board of Trustees of Scholarships for Scholars, a nonprofit organization that awards scholarships to graduating high school seniors in Anne Arundel County. In addition, she organized the Chesapeake Bay Book Club, a group of women that became devoted friends over the years. Survivors include her husband, Fred, their son, Adam and his wife Bruna of San Diego, CA, granddaughter Charlotte, sister Sandy (Mike) Cohen of Tucson, her nephews Keith, Todd (Bianca), Jack and Graham, and many other loving family members and dear friends.
Marlene King, 55, the wife of the Rev. Eric King, pastor of St. Matthews-New Life UMC in Baltimore, died from breast cancer Nov. 30, 2015.
Marlene Beverly Pusey was born Sept. 30, 1959, in Clarendon, Jamaica, the oldest daughter of the late Aston Samuel and Vioris (Gilfillian) Pusey. She came to the U.S. when she was 13. Her education included Montgomery Community College, Sojourner College and Morgan State University.
She and the Rev. Eric King married in 1985. While he pastored Ames UMC in Bel Air, 1998-2003, New Life UMC in Baltimore, 2004-2009; New Life-St. Matthews Cooperative Parish until 2012; and in January 2015, Metropolitan in West Baltimore, she was First Lady, advocating for the fulfillment of spiritual and social values for girls and women.
King also worked in various venues, including Johns Hopkins University, the American Red Cross and the University of Maryland on health policy and in the Department of Physical Therapy. After becoming a heart patient in 1998, she served as a heart health advocate and spokesperson for the American Heart Association.
King was first diagnosed in 2008 and since then had a lumpectomy, a double-mastectomy, and had undergone breast reconstructive surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. In July 2012 she was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic cancer, which had spread to her chest wall, lungs and sternum
King was president of The Journey Continues Breast Cancer Organization and a board member of METAvivor Research & Support, Inc. She was a well-known speaker and advocate on breast cancer. In 2012, she was told she only had a few months to live, but she was determined to stay the course and fight.
And fight she did. In late 2014, the Baltimore Examiner quoted her, “I am still here; still fighting for my life, and still holding on to hope.” She added, “I thank God every day for waking me up. It’s something you think about and are really grateful for when you don’t have that much longer to live. I am not a cancer survivor, but a cancer warrior. I will continue to fight. Either way it will be alright.”
Survivors include her husband of 30 years, the Rev. Eric King, sons Eric King II of New York, Bryant King and Aston King, both of Baltimore; two grandchildren and several siblings as well as a number of nieces and nephews and great nephews and great nieces.
Pam has spent the majority of her career utilizing her entrepreneurial skills helping to build start-up Biotech companies. In 2008, she started her own business. Through her consulting group, she provides strategic guidance to patient advocacy groups and biotech companies in the US and Internationally. Her broad background has allowed her to assist non-profit foundations enhance their programs, funding strategies, and organizational capabilities. She understands the importance of advancing research, education, and especially the strength of the patient voice,
Personally and professionally, Pam has been relentless in her efforts as a patient advocate. She now turns that determination towards serving METAvivor, and joining the fight to drive research and reduce deaths from breast cancer.
Residing in Jamestown RI with her husband, Pam stays active golfing, boating and taking long walks with her two dogs.
Director of Support
Jane R. Levitt, 58, of Millersville, died January 4, 2012 at home with her family after living with breast cancer for the past 6 years. Born October 28, 1953 in Baltimore to the late George and Violet Doxzen. Jane graduated from Dundalk High School in 1971 and Catonsville Community College in 1973. Various careers include TWA, customer service; AACS, Administrator; Homestead Gardens, Nursery; MD Dept of Health, Administrative Assistant. A longtime resident of Severna Park, she loved being outdoors. She treasured gardening and was an active part of various local Garden Clubs. She was an avid cyclist who rode with the Severna Park Peloton. Jane was a member of Severna Park EP Church. Jane was a board member for the METAvivors, a metastatic breast cancer research and support organization. Jane is survived by her beloved husband, James; her son Daniel; her daughter Elizabeth; her brother George Doxzen II of Dagsborough, DE; and her sister Tony Hayden of Norfolk, UK.
Doris Ann Price
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of METAvivor friend, supporter, Ambassador and Board member, Doris Ann Price. Doris Ann lived eleven years with her metastasis, despite an extensive spread of her cancer to multiple organs. She went public with her journey early on, pushing insurance companies to support the drug choice of the patient-oncologist team. She gave great support to patients through her work with the National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF), sharing her knowledge, experience, compassion and guidance with other metastatic breast cancer patients, empowering them on their own journey living with metastatic breast cancer. For her years of work with NPAF, Doris Ann was awarded the National Patient Advocate Courage and Dedication Award in 2016.
Those like Doris Ann, who were diagnosed metastatic over ten years ago when social media was not widely used found it hard to connect. It was hard work communicating with and helping others under the circumstances, yet Doris Ann always found a way.
Once she learned of METAvivor she volunteered and soon took on a leadership role as METAvivor’s Southeast US Ambassador Program. Her region was a tremendous success story. Dedicated and motivated, Doris Ann quickly became an invaluable asset to our organization as a member of our Board of Directors.
Doris Ann’s ability to reach out to people, make them comfortable, determine their needs and help was unmatched. And her vivacious personality, bright red lipstick and whimsical MBC dolls made her a favorite with all her knew her.
Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to her family and especially her loving, loyal and compassionate husband, Aaron Price who also serves as a METAvivor Board Member.
Doris Ann will be greatly missed by our entire team … and by MBC patients around the world. Rest in peace dear friend and colleague.
Lori Marx-Rubiner of Encino, CA served diligently on the METAvivor Board of Directors in 2014 and 2015. We thank her for her excellent service. Lori blogs at https://regrounding.me/.
Co-Founder of METAvivor
KAREN B. PRESSWOOD passed away on August 20, 2009. The beloved wife of Allen L. Presswood; loving mother of Jennifer and Kelsey Presswood; sister of Barbara Sniffin.
Co-Founder of METAvivor
Rhonda S. Rhodes, 51, a 23 year resident of Annapolis, previously of Beltsville, died at home on Jan. 11, 2010.
She was born May 22, 1958, in Beltsville to Bette Jo Oxley Sturgill and Blaine Sturgill.
She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park. She worked in government and private health care policy consulting.
She was a member of St. Martin's Lutheran Church, and was the co-founder of Metavivor. She enjoyed spending time with her family, going to beaches, especially Hatteras Island, N.C. She also enjoyed skiing, reading, good food, and good friends.
She is survived by her husband, David T. Rhodes, whom she married in 1987; and two sons, Matthew T. and Jonathan D. Rhodes of the home.
Director of Support
Patricia B. Tomaselli, 63 years old, a 14 year resident of Annapolis, MD, lost her battle to Metastasized Breast Cancer on October 4, 2011. She was born in Buffalo, N.Y. in 1948. She attended University of Pittsburg and Pepperdine University earning a MBA.
Diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer to the bone in 2007, Patricia "Pat" Tomaselli was the former Sector Director of Security for Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems. She was a 35 year employee of the corporation, beginning her career with the Westinghouse Electric Company in Buffalo NY, Pittsburgh PA, New York City and Sunnyvale California before the acquisition by Northrop Grumman in 1996. She became Sector Director in 1998 with the responsibility for both classified and physical security operations in 35 states and 29 countries. She stepped down from that position for health reasons in 2007 and entered the disability ranks in 2009. Pat has been an active voice in Industry associations as the former chairman of the Security Committee of the Aerospace Industries Association and the National Defense Industry Assn. She was chosen by Industry and the Department of Defense to represent Defense Contractors on a Government Board called the NISPPAC from 2001 to 2005 and in 2007 won the Donald Woodbridge Award for Security Excellence, one of the highest individual honors in the Security industry. In 2009 she and a team of colleagues won the Northrop Grumman's highest honor, the Chairman's Award, for their support of the three employees kidnapped in Colombia for five and a half years.
Pat lived with her granddaughter, Kya, in Annapolis, where she sponsored four midshipmen of the US Naval Academy. She also volunteered at Annapolis High School. Pat was deeply involved in Metavivor, a non-profit organization for research and support of patients that have Metastatic Breast Cancer. As Director of Support she was deeply involved with this fantastic organization. Pat, loving mother of, Tabetha (Matthew) Bokovoy of Lincoln, Nebraska and Tara Masterson of Washington, D.C. and grandmother of Kya Masterson, Kestrel Carr, Spencer Bokovoy and Brothers Hugh (Kathy) Blake, Dennis Blake and Frank DeSabio and the many nephews, nieces and nine cousins. She is proceeded in death by her parents Josephine and Hugh Blake and her sister Maureen DeSabio. We like to also acknowledge the incredible support of the Hospice of the Chesapeake for their compassionate care, friendship and guidance through this journey.