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.
Elise Carver, Executive Director
Elise is thrilled to be a part of the staff and mission of Hope Lives! Not only does she have a passion for helping people and giving back, but unfortunately like most, she too, has had various family members and friends affected by breast cancer. Elise brings more than 20 years of managerial, training, and customer service experience in both the corporate and non-profit sectors. Most recently, she held the position of Volunteer Coordinator in Weld county for Pathways Hospice.
According to Elise, “I enjoy companioning with clients and the community providing much needed support, especially during these challenging times when world events can often overshadow everyday needs. Since moving back to Northern Colorado, I have been reminded about what a generous and special place this is and I’m excited to see what our future holds!”
Nikki Houser, Manager of Client Services & Communications
Nikki is the newest staff member to join Hope Lives! With a career that includes event, retail, and marketing management, she brings a unique perspective to the team. Recently, she decided to try her skills as a school librarian at a K-8 Charter School. Originally from Chicago, Nikki has also lived in Tampa before landing here in Colorado. She resides in Loveland with her husband, two kids, two cats and a dog.
Aside from being a good fit professionally, Nikki is also a Breast Cancer Survivor! She was diagnosed in 2020 at age 44 with Stage 1C IDC, ER/PR+, Her2-, ATM+ and is currently in remission.
Nikki says, “My favorite poem, The Summer Day, by Mary Oliver has this GREAT line that resonates with me now more than ever; ‘Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?’.”
Lana Schueler, Bookkeeper
Lana moved to Fort Collins in 1982 to attend Colorado State University, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting in 1986. Since then, she’s been the assistant controller of a local grocery chain before starting her own Accounting and Bookkeeping business in Fort Collins. She married a local guy and has two daughters and one very active puppy.
Lana says: “I am deeply moved by the struggle those with cancer go through and am so honored to be a part of Hope Lives!. The compassion and care given the participants is truly heartwarming. It is so inspiring to see those in the community helping through their donations of time and money and I look forward to all the upcoming fundraising opportunities. Northern Colorado is a wonderful, generous place to live!”
Disco Pup Houser, Emotional Support, Companion and Champion Napper
Disco Pup is a 6 year old Black Lab mix who joined the team in 2022. His purpose is to alert us when visitors arrive, but most days you'll just find him sleeping. He will greet you, then promptly return to his nap. However, his senses are indeed keen, and if he feels that you are upset or are in need of some extra loving, he will not leave you alone and insist you shake his paw endlessly.
Disco is loves wearing pink, even though he often gets mistaken for a girl. He's chill about it, though. The only thing that makes him grumpy is when you pet his bottom when he's napping. No one likes that, so we totally get it.
Disco loves treats, so feel free to bring him some when you come in for your appointment. And please let us in advance if you prefer he stay home on your scheduled day.