Support Group Leaders Named Regional Directors
Along with the New Year, the IMF welcomes three new Regional Directors to the Support Group team. Nancy Bruno, Anne M. Pacowta and Sue M. Enright are all local Support Group leaders who now are bringing their experience, compassion and skill to the regional level. At the same time, we’re saying goodbye to longtime Southeast Regional Director of Support Groups, Andy Lebkuecher, with a big “thanks!” for the kind of time and effort that makes a difference in myeloma patients’ lives.
Nancy Bruno has been active in Support Groups since shortly after her husband Mike was diagnosed with myeloma in late 1998. What began as comprehensive note-taking during support group meetings led to her becoming a writer for the group’s newsletter. When Andy Lebkuecher’s wife Cathy died in December 2006, Andy asked Nancy to lead their local Atlanta group temporarily, “and I haven’t stopped.” Nancy’s energy and commitment will continue as Southeast Regional Director, Support Groups.
Anne Pacowta, the new Florida Regional Director, Support Groups, is no stranger to community activities. While teaching in Connecticut, she was a Scout leader, religious education instructor, Parent-Teacher Organization officer and school volunteer. After her husband Jack was diagnosed with myeloma, they joined a support group in Connecticut, but later relocated to an area of Florida where they founded the North Florida Multiple Myeloma Support Group. Jack lost his battle with myeloma in 2008 and Anne continues to keep his legacy alive with her work.
Born in Morocco and raised in Idaho, Sue Enright has lived in Southeastern Wisconsin since 1996. Ten years later, when husband Rob was diagnosed with myeloma, “the IMF was my first call.” Soon, the couple launched the West Bend, Wisconsin Myeloma Support Group, whose community involvement ranges “from advocacy to collecting Christmas toys for Ronald McDonald House to participating in events such as Relay for Life and Light the Night,” says Sue. With education being one of her passions, Sue believes she is well prepared for this “new and exciting role” as Midwest Regional Director, Support Groups.
As retiring Support Group Leader Andy Lebkuecher advises Support Group Leaders in his “farewell” blog post, “educating and assisting the patients and caregivers are the most important things we do.”
Robin Tuohy, Senior Director of Support Groups, agrees. “With extraordinary individuals like Sue Enright, Anne Pacowta, Nancy Bruno and Kelly Cox as our Regional Directors, and a legacy of service of those who came before them to build upon, I predict we’ll have an extremely successful 2013!”