ACCO Inland Northwest’s dedicated board of directors work tirelessly to increase services and awareness for families of children with cancer. Childhood cancer can have long term effects on the entire family. Our board is comprised of a 51% majority of family members who know first hand the devastation that a childhood cancer diagnosis can bring and caring, committed community members who want to make a difference in the lives of children with cancer and their families.
Margaret Kobylus, President
I have been a member of Candlelighters since 1992 when my 15 year old daughter, Angela, was diagnosed with Osteogenic Sarcoma (bone cancer). With that came my first knowledge that kids get cancer too, and my first knowledge of Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation. In March of 1997 Angela passed away after a very hard-fought 5-year battle with her cancer. Candlelighters of the Inland NW was there with our family for those 5 years, giving us assistance and strength to carry through that battle.
In 1998 I was asked to join the new Board of Directors that filed for our Candlelighters 501(c)3 non-profit status with the IRS. I served a 2 year term on that Board, then became President of our local Candlelighters on April 1, 2000. I served as President until March of 2007, at which time I resigned primarily for health and family reasons.
In December of 2007 I decided that my life had calmed down enough that I would like to take a position on the Canclelighters Board of Directors once again. There were several vacancies, and I missed being a part of what our unique organization does for kids with cancer and their families. Eventually I was again elected to the Presidency. I am grateful to be able to help carry on the battle against childhood cancer in memory of my precious daughter, Angela.
I have worked 38 years for a general contractor in heavy construction business, N.A. Degerstrom, Inc., in the accounting and human resources departments. I also have many years of experience working with other non-profit groups such as Children’s Miracle Network, National Association of Women in Construction and Habitat for Humanity.
I once again welcome the opportunity to serve this very worthwhile organization…because kids can’t fight cancer alone!
Connie Hill-Bunch, Treasurer
Connie Hill-Bunch’s beloved daughter Amanda passed away in Dec. 2006 at age 18 after an intense year-long battle with Acute Myelocytic Leukemia, which was thought to be caused by chemotherapy she received for brain cancer at age 12. Amanda and her parents were active members of ACCOIN for 6 years, both as participants in family and teen activities and as volunteers for many fundraising and awareness events. They greatly appreciate all the support they have received from ACCOIN during Amanda’s illnesses and remission and since her passing. In memory of Amanda’s loving and compassionate spirit, Connie is determined to help ease the burden of ACCOIN families as they navigate the nightmare of childhood cancer. Besides being a Board Director, she also serves as Database Administrator for ACCOIN. Connie has a B.S. from EWU in Information Science, an interdisciplinary degree combining math, computer science, accounting and decision science. She has been self-employed for many years providing software development and technical support primarily for the wholesale forest products industry.
Rebecca Erdahl, Secretary
Rebecca has been involved with the American Childhood Cancer Organization Inland Northwest since 2012 when her four-year-old daughter, Marleigh was diagnosed with AML Leukemia. Marleigh underwent intense chemotherapy at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital and a bone marrow transplant in Seattle. Sadly, Marleigh passed away in December 2013. ACCOIN has been a steady source of support from diagnosis and into bereavement. She believes greatly in the organization as it is the only one like it, which supports the whole family in all stages of the cancer journey. Rebecca currently serves as the Board Secretary, is heavily involved in the Light the Way Dinner Auction and plans the events for the Bereaved Parent Group.
John was born and raised in Spokane and currently resides here with his wife, son, daughter and nephew. He has worked in the banking industry since 2005. Since 2010, John has been a Branch Manager and AVP with Wells Fargo Bank. When not spending valuable time with his family, you will find John at the golf course, taking in a sporting event, or volunteering out in our wonderful community. John became passionate about ACCOIN after hearing about the wonderful organization from other board members. He learned about all that they do to help local children and their families and wanted to be a part of it. He knows how important this cause is to everyone in our community. He truly values the opportunity ACCOIN has given him to serve this wonderful organization and local children with cancer and their families.
Eddie Wood lives in the Spokane area with his wife and their three girls (one set of twins). He is an avid sportsman and thrill-seeker (motocross!) who works in medical sales though his knowledge of the health industry reaches far beyond the professional. At the tender age of seven, Eddie was diagnosed with stage IV rhabdomyosarcoma and given a 22% chance of survival. Eddie emerged cancer free and has remained in remission these 31 years and counting. Eddie brings to the ACCOIN community the unique adult perspective of a childhood cancer survivor (and son of a health care professional) with an experiential understanding of the direct impact and implications of a pediatric cancer diagnosis. His passion for the cause is palpable to all who cross his path.
Ken is a retired Air Force Officer of 23 years and following that retired from Computer Sciences Corporation after an additional 20 years of service. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, MA. Ken as been on the National ACCO Board of Directors (formerly CCCF) since 1994, and has held the office of Treasurer since 1995. He and his wife Marie were active on the Board of Directors of Candlelighters affiliate Candlelighters of Southern Colorado, Colorado Springs, CO from 1990 to 2004, at which time they moved to Spirit Lake in North Idaho. Currently Ken is the interim treasurer for our local affiliate in addition to supporting our activities throughout the year. Ken and Marie are bereaved grandparents. Their precious granddaughter Ginny died from acute myelogenous leukemia in 1990 at the age of 3-1/2.
Sarah Brown, Executive Director
Sarah Jane Brown has been a member of the local American Childhood Cancer Organization Inland Northwest since 2003 when her eight-year-old son, Parker, was diagnosed with leukemia (cancer of the blood). Parker received six years of chemotherapy and passed away in December of 2009. Sarah Jane became passionate about ACCOIN the day her son was diagnosed with cancer because ACCOIN was there for her family on the day of her son’s diagnosis, throughout his six years of chemotherapy, and even in his death with grief support. Her job is her vocation and she is honored to be a part of a team that empowers families to stay connected, offers emotional and financial support, and lets families know they are not alone.
Kiersten Barron, Administrative Assistant
Kiersten is a Southern California transplant and has lived in Spokane for 12 years. Kiersten is deeply connected to childhood cancer because in 2005 her 2nd born son, Cruz, was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma at the age of two months. After the fight of his life, Cruz is approaching the ripe old age of 12 and enjoying the 6th grade. It is very important to Kiersten to give back the support that she received from this community during Cruz’s cancer battle. Kiersten is thrilled to be a part of the ACCOIN staff as the Administrative Assistant since December 2015 and looks forward to continuing the beautiful work that ACCOIN does.
Denise Maxson, Patient Services Coordinator
Denise’s oldest daughter is a survivor of stage 4 Rhabdomyosarcoma. The American Childhood Cancer Organization Inland Northwest (ACCOIN) (formerly Candlelighters) volunteers befriended her family shortly after diagnosis. Back then, ACCOIN’s main program was a snack cart at the hospital, but more than that, they were and remain a gathering of parents going through the same thing. What an incredible lifeline! Previously, Denise served two terms on the board of directors and headed-up the sibling support group. As Patient Services Coordinator, Denise is honored to be walking beside families (many who become friends) because there is a shared knowledge of the road traveled and it means so much to share support and wisdom.