Les Turner ALS Foundation

Support Services Committee

The Support Services Committee ensures that the Foundation's services are responsive to the needs, priorities, goals and values of the ALS community. Committee members create a strategic plan and evaluate the Foundation's support services and educational programs.

The committee is comprised of board members and non-board members – some of whom are living with ALS or are caregivers. The Foundation relies on them to provide a first-hand perspective. They are passionate advocates committed to high-quality, patient-centric and innovative support services.

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Doug Butchart joined the Support Services Committee in 2022. He is on the I AM ALS Legislative Team and an advocate for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Doug's wife was diagnosed with ALS in 2017. Since her diagnosis, Doug has been trying to stay informed about the disease and help his wife live her life the best way that she can. 

Tina Cascio joined the Foundation's Board of Directors in 2022 and the Support Services Committee in 2023. She has worked her entire career in the medical field, and considers herself a temporarily retired nurse. Once there is a cure for ALS, she plans on returning to care for her patients. Tina cared for her mom throughout her fight with ALS until her mom passed in 2018. She is now in her own battle after having been diagnosed with ALS in 2020. Tina has been actively involved in community outreach and familial sponsor programs. She is also an active member of Her ALS Story. Tina lives in Palatine, IL and also enjoys any time spent with family, friends, and her newly adopted cat Lucy.

Read more about Tina's story.

Chaunelle Caver-Perkins joined the Support Services Committee in 2021. Chaunelle spent much of her childhood on the Southwest side of Chicago and worked for the U.S. Postal Service from 2007-20. She was diagnosed with ALS in 2020 and is grateful to be working with Dr. Brent and his entire team at the Lois Insolia Clinic at Northwestern Medicine, as well as working with the Foundation. She holds an associate degree in general science and a bachelor’s degree in education. She resides with her two children in Posen, IL.

Read more about Chaunelle's story.

John Coleman III, MD chairs the Support Services Committee. John has served as vice chair on the Foundation's Board of Directors since 2018. He is a pulmonary & critical care physician at Northwestern Medical Group, working in the Lois Insolia ALS Clinic and caring for people living with ALS. He resides in Chicago with his husband, James.
Matt Creen was invited to join the Support Services Committee in 2022. A retired lawyer, Matt was formerly the general counsel of the Currie Motors Group. He was diagnosed with ALS at the Lois Insolia ALS Clinic at Northwestern Medicine in 2013. Since his diagnosis, he has been engaged with the Foundation every year, hosting a golf outing and dinner benefiting the Foundation. Matt has three children and three grandchildren. He resides in Frankfort, IL with his wife, Lynn, and two of their children.

Cheryl Gallagher joined the Support Services Committee in 2021. She worked for United Airlines for 29 years as a flight attendant. Prior to being diagnosed with ALS in 2016, she lived an active life which included hiking, swimming and yoga. Cheryl enjoys reading, crossword puzzles, cooking and eating and has a dog named Derby who keeps her company during the day. She has three sisters, five brothers and many nieces and nephews, and enjoys spending time with her family. She lives on the North Side of Chicago and is an avid Cubs fan.

Read more about Cheryl's story.

Frank Granata has been a member of the Foundation's Board of Directors since 2022 and a member of the Support Services Committee since 2023. A retired banker who worked and lived internationally, Frank was diagnosed with ALS in 2020. Despite his diagnosis, he continues to work tirelessly to optimize the muscles to respond. Along with his own battle, Frank continues to motivate his friends who are living with ALS by always encouraging them to push themselves, by assisting the incredible supportive team at the Foundation, and embracing every precious moment that he has with loved ones. Frank lives in the Chicago suburbs with his wife Carolyn and their son who is attending medical school.

Read more about Frank's story.

Elizabeth Kennedy became a member of the Support Service Committee in the fall of 2022. Her mom, Stephanie Kennedy, was diagnosed with ALS in 2019 and passed away in 2021. The Foundation was there to support her whole family during this difficult time. Elizabeth jumped at the opportunity to be more involved with the organization.  Professionally, Elizabeth works for LifeGuides as a team lead/certified guide where she helps others navigate life's challenges. She loves traveling and West Coast Swing Dancing. Elizabeth and her husband live in Evanston, IL.
Mary Roemer joined the Support Services in 2018. She joined the Foundation’s Support Group in 2010 after her husband Dave was diagnosed with ALS, and continued her connection with the Foundation after Dave died in 2015. She is also a member of the Foundation's Gratitude Group. Her family’s ALS Walk for Life Team, Pop Squad, has participated since 2011. Mary is the mother of four children and lives in Deerfield, IL.

Read more about Mary's story.

Joel A. Schechter has been a part of the Support Services Committee for many years. He also serves as vice chair of the Foundation's Board of Directors where he's been a member since 1988. Joel works as  an attorney at the Law Offices of Joel A. Schechter. The brother-in-law of Les Turner, Joel serves on the board’s Executive Committee and is also a member of the Governance Committee. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Bambi Jacoby, and has five children.
James A. (Jim) Thompson joined the Support Services Committee in 2022. James spent his childhood in urban and suburban Chicago. He spent his early adult years working in marketing and information technology, also in the Chicago area. In 1975, he felt a call to go into the ministry and served as a United Methodist pastor for over twenty years in parishes in Ohio and  in Illinois. James was diagnosed with ALS at Northwestern Medicine in 2021. He held a degree in theater and drama from Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, IA. He also held degrees in divinity and Christian education from Methodist Theological School in Ohio. James lived in a long-term care facility in Bloomington, IL,  just a few minutes from his wife and three of his children. He passed away in March 2023.

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