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.
Lydia Dody, Founder & Executive Director
Starting a new organization was my creative vision but making it a reality took a village.
While fighting an arduous battle with breast cancer in 2001, my experiences and struggles during treatment led me to reach out to many complementary care providers to ease my Chemotherapy side effects and help me endure my treatments physically, psychologically and emotionally. These services improved my recovery and quality of life so much that it moved me to start The Lydia Dody Breast Cancer Foundation non-profit to help other women in treatment.
My mission was to support and strengthen those affected by breast cancer by providing care, guidance and education. We serve as a partner as they heal in mind, body and spirit.
The organization started providing services in January 2002 and since then Hope Lives has provided services and improved the lives of thousands of women. The name has changed to Hope Lives! The Lydia Dody Breast Cancer Support Center to better describe who we are now.
The need for services continues as statistically 400 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in Weld and Larimer Counties each year. According to Lydia, “We want to provide free post diagnosis services to all women in northern Colorado. We are committed to continuing our important work with the supportive help of our professional providers, generous donors, committed board members, staff and volunteers.”
Elise Carver, Program 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 look forward to companioning with patients and the community to provide 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!”
Kathryn Longo, Patient Navigator
Kathryn received her bachelor’s degree in social work from Colorado State University. During her time there, she realized her passion for providing compassionate care and support for those experiencing difficult health circumstances while working as an intern for a hospice and palliative care agency. It was here where she understood the true importance of connection, compassion, care, love and support in these situations.
Kathryn says, “I’m delighted to be working as the Patient Navigator for Hope Lives! and look forward to creating positive, meaningful and helpful interactions with breast cancer patients during this challenging period in their lives.”
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!”