Suzanne Lindley, MSW
Suzanne Lindley has been married to her husband, Ronnie, for 36 years and is mom to three beautiful daughters. She is a twenty-three year survivor of advanced metastatic colon cancer. She is Co-Founder of Say YES to Hope and worked through treatment to receive her master’s degree in Social Work and later became certified as a bereavement counselor. She has beaten the odds because of cancer research and has benefitted greatly from the developments made in these past years (only one treatment existed for colon cancer at her diagnosis). A plethora of multidisciplinary treatments including surgery, chemotherapy, precision medicine, personalized medicine, radioembolization (Y90), radiation, radiofrequency ablation (RFA), and CyberKnife as well as participation in three clinical trials have kept her alive. Through her personal experience, she has learned the importance self-advocacy: of support, information, and empowerment for both the patient and the family. By utilizing these experiences, she has created easier medical navigation for other advanced cancer patients. She has helped to coordinate thousands of “FRIENDS” so that others do not feel the isolation and fear that she experienced and has ensured that others have access to the benefits of medical research. She has given hope when hope has all but disappeared….and proven that it is possible to live fully despite terminal cancer.
Ronnie Lindley is an electrical engineer who recently retired from Lockheed Martin. He has been married to Suzanne for 36 years and is the quintessential “girl dad” to Katie, Karlie, and Chloe. He is the unsung silent hero who stands beside Suzanne and enables everything to fall into place. His simple mantra is, “everything will be ok.” Somehow, he always seems to make that so. From elaborate events to simple dinners, Ronnie effortlessly supports and encourages from behind the scenes. If something isn’t working, he can fix it! He has helped to make many dreams come true and is the backbone of Say YES to Hope.
Kathy Baker is a breast and ovarian cancer survivor who is alive today because of genetic testing. She and Suzanne began their friendship in 2006 as advocates for American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network in Washington DC. Their personal stories are much different, however, their passion for cancer research and the support of patients is equally fierce. Suzanne and Kathy have spent long hours discussing the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer patients and Kathy has been a long supporter of Say YES to Hope, volunteering for the FRIENDS for the Journey program, Retreat from Cancer, The Oscars, Surviving in Fashion, and so much more. Kathy is Founder of My Faulty Gene and the two organizations will soon change the world with their approaches to advanced cancer and genetic testing. Kathy’s grace in any situation is both calming and positive under circumstances and a diagnosis that is frightening and support is needed most.
John Brune is a talented videographer with over 30 years experience, and as a three time Emmy Award winner, he has created and produced commercials, web videos, image and manufacturing videos, demo and training videos, lectures and television programs, documentaries, and exposition videos. He captures your moment and shares stories. He met Suzanne nine years ago and has been an integral part of creating enduring educational resources for YES as well as memories that are cherished between patients and their families and friends. You will often see him behind the camera as he captures the essence of Say YES to Hope and often interviews those that are the reason we do what we do.
Alexia Bucy is the Executive Assistant at Say YES to Hope. Alexia is the smiling face behind Say Yes’ social media platforms, manages posting of fundraisers and events, and spreads awareness about advanced cancers and what we can do to fight them. A life-long resident of East Texas, she is working towards her degree at Jacksonville Baptist College. She is a Survivor of childhood Leukemia and has been in remission for over 15 years. Alexia lives in Van, TX where she attends First Baptist Church, and is raising two beautiful children with her husband.
Jean di Carlo Wagner
Jean di Carlo Wagner was referred to Suzanne Lindley when she was diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer. She and Suzanne forged an immediate bond and have encouraged one another, supporting each other’s goals and dreams through the years. Suzanne encouraged Jean to apply to advocacy roles through NCCS and Fight Colorectal Cancer and Jean has since become an advocate for the whole community of cancer survivors. She helps them through almost any situation with her calm, reassuring voice and through guided imagery and yoga for cancer survivor.
Jo Guthrie and Suzanne were neighbors before they were friends and through the years and have since forged a strong bond. Jo has supported Say YES to Hope at almost every turn since it was founded in 2007. Jo has attended meetings, marched the Halls of Congress, helped with registration at many of the patient luncheons, pitched in wherever she was needed at conferences, retreats, fashion shows, and awareness events.
Karen Howard, RN
Karen Howard is a retired home health and oncology nurse whose passion for helping patients has transcended into her retirement. She and Suzanne met at a Golden Globes event and became fast friends. Renee is also a gifted jewelry designer who has graciously donated her time and talent to provide jewelry for patients who have attended numerous events including New York Fashion Week, The Emmys, and The Oscars to give them a unique and special jewelry set. She has shared her time at YES events through the years such as Retreat from Cancer, Surviving in Fashion, White House Correspondent’s Dinner, exhibitions, conferences, and events. She is a sounding board for ideas, assists with newsletters, web-site review, and is creative far behind her jewelry with campaigns and thoughts that further the goals of Say YES to Hope.
Brian MacLeod is a single father to four now grown children and proud “Papa” to his young granddaughter. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colorectal Cancer when his youngest son was only 12 years old and watched proudly as they reached milestones he never expected to witness. Each of his children became active advocates with YES. Together, they marched the halls of Congress lobbying for increased funding for cancer research and tackled difficult subjects such as cancer that has spread and obtaining support for getting “The Right Scan at the Right Time.” He has volunteered his time to share his story of living with advanced cancer, being a FRIEND to others who are navigating life with a late stage diagnosis and is not only an inspiration but provides a wealth of knowledge for those who are searching for resources, support, and hope.
Suzanne McPeak is a loving wife, mother, and grandmother and is also a Stage 4 Colorectal Cancer Survivor. She graciously shares her story of survival and the importance of a multidisciplinary treatment team as all disciplines were key to her survival. She underwent a colon resection, chemotherapy, a liver resection, SIR-Spheres microspheres, and ablation to treat cancer that metastasized to her liver. She is a huge advocate for interventional radiology and especially, radioembolization, as it saved her life. Suzanne has been a FRIEND for Say YES to Hope for more than a decade, speaks at conferences, has attended Retreat from Cancer, and created awareness at People’s Choice Awards and the Oscars. She is a huge inspiration and great asset to the YES team.
Carla Trout is the “voice” behind Say YES to Hope. She met Suzanne because of her husband Jimmy, and the connection was instant. Sadly, Jimmy passed away but Carla has continued to bring her beautiful voice to events and to inspire all those that hear her. She volunteers her time and has attended conferences, retreats, fashion shows, and fundraisers to help those who are affected by advanced cancer.
Billy and Evie Werner
Billy and Evie Werner are the dynamic duo – husband and wife with two grown children and two adorable grandsons. Advanced cancer has touched Evie’s life by claiming both of her parents and together Billy and Evie have supported friends who have faced this devastating diagnosis. Besties to Ronnie and Suzanne; they are always willing to lend a helping hand. They have played Mr. and Mrs. Claus at Christmas delivering presents to help make the holidays a joyous time with memories all around. They also created “Ride for Hope” which will soon include a “CornHole Tournament” as well to raise funds for Say YES to Hope. The amount of work and passion they put into caring for others is unsurmountable. They have been instrumental in helping with Retreat from Cancer, Surviving in Fashion, meetings and events of all kinds and are always ready to lend a hand for those in need – and Billy is often the man behind the music!
Darlene and Kelly Womack
Darlene and Kelly Womack are super-heroes for YES and best of friends with Ronnie and Suzanne. They are a loving couple, parents, grandparents, and even great grandparents! Darlene is a talented seamstress and has been gracious in sharing that gift during all of the Surviving in Fashion events, altering gowns, and ensuring a perfect look for every survivor! She is also owner of “A Mustard Seed” and has taken “Old West” photos of survivors at Retreat from Cancer and has grabbed her camera to help capture memories as often as she can. Kelly can do anything (just ask him about his last minute heroics with the perfect gown during a fashion show) and helps Ronnie to keep everyone and everything in line at events and programs. He is a blessing in a time of chaotic control and pressure. Together, they make everyone feel welcome and at home and provide open arms to all they meet.