The Hope Lives organization was founded in 2001 by breast cancer survivor, Lydia Dody, a Ft. Collins businesswoman. Today, Hope Lives continues to offer free, supportive services & products to breast cancer patients in active treatment.
Board of Directors
Byron Laws, Board President
Byron Laws is a Fort Collins entrepreneur and community organizer who currently serves as board president of Hope Lives!
He is also the primary organizer for the Warren Lake Sustainable Neighborhoods group, an involved Pathways Hospice volunteer, a certified end-of-life Doula (death coach) and meditation teacher.
Byron says, “The mission of Hope Lives! in helping breast cancer patients is amazing. I felt called to get involved and help show love and care for those in our community who are suffering from this terrible disease. With more community engagement and volunteer involvement, we can do great things.”
Melissa Venable, Vice President
Melissa Venable is a Fort Collins nonprofit executive and community leader who currently serves as board vice-president of Hope Lives!
Melissa is also a published author and certified Life Coach. She resides in Fort Collins with her husband and is mother to two young-adult sons. Melissa served as the Executive Director of Hope Lives from 2010-2015 and is still passionate about the vital mission of the organization.
Melissa says, “No one battling cancer should have to face that battle alone. Hope Lives is here to make sure that breast cancer patients in Larimer & Weld counties receive the tangible support and guidance that they need as they navigate their recovery.”
Michele Warren, Treasurer
Michelle Warren has been an Administrative Assistant for the city of Fort Collins for over three decades in the Water Reclamation Division of Utilities. She has worked on various committees, records management, environmental management systems and professional administrative courses for various departments throughout the city.
She is a two time breast cancer survivor who utilized the services of Hope Lives during chemotherapy. She has continually had involvement with Hope Lives throughout the years, before serving as the treasurer of the board.
Michelle says, “It has been a true blessing to be involved with this extraordinary organization and an honor to work with so many incredible women throughout the years.”
Inger Laws, Secretary
Inger Laws is a resident of Fort Collins and in-house counsel for a global technology company. She is passionate about helping others and currently serves as the secretary of Hope Lives! Inger was drawn to Hope Lives! as a result of her mother’s experience with breast cancer.
Inger says, “Through the generosity of our donors and many wonderful volunteers, Hope Lives! has been able to support many northern Colorado residents as they face the challenges of treatment for breast cancer. I’m thankful to be part of such an amazing organization and help further the mission of Hope Lives!”
Jill Rickards, Board Member
Jill Rickards is deeply rooted in our local Fort Collins community for 40 years and now serves as a board member for Hope Lives. Jill has continually owned and operated an accounting practice where she has provided accounting, management and tax services to non-profits.
Jill has served on numerous non-profit boards in the community and understands the unique challenges nonprofits face each day. Hope Lives truly CARES about the people they serve and provides amazing support for a healing environment.
Jill says, “It is my pleasure and privilege to be on the board.”