Andrea Whitmarsh, MS
Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, Andrea received her Master’s Degree in Cancer Prevention and Pathology, with a concentration in Epidemiology at the University at Buffalo, Roswell Park Cancer Institute Division in 2009. Since then, she has worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the Veterans Affairs Hospital of Buffalo, while taking care of her two young daughters. After learning about her BRCA 2+ mutation and receiving little to no guidance locally on what this meant for her future, she decided to take action by co-founding the Familial Cancer Foundation of WNY.
Andrea is passionate about nutrition playing a key role in disease prevention and enjoys sharing this information with as many people as possible. She is an active member of her church and her local Rotary club. In her spare time Andrea enjoys gardening, exercising, hiking, cooking, exploring Buffalo, and spending time with her loving and supportive friends, family, and most importantly her children.
Dawn Sagerman, MPH
Dawn is a Community Development Specialist for the Western New York Prevention Resource Center. She received a Bachelor’s degree with a concentration in Community Mental Health and a Master of Public Health degree from the University at Buffalo. Actively involved in her church for many years, Dawn has served as a deacon and on the church council, as well as participating in the choir and bell choir. She is a member of the Lutheran Charities Board of Directors and the Upstate New York Synod Global Missions Committee. After learning she is positive for the BRCA2 mutation without a cancer diagnosis, she had a difficult time finding a supportive community in the Western New York area.
Dawn is married, has two daughters, and three grandchildren. In her spare time, when she is not doing her absolute favorite thing of spending time with her grandchildren, she loves traveling, gardening, and sewing and especially enjoys time with her grandchildren.
Yellamraju Kumar, MD
David is a semi-retired Inspecting Engineer in Western New York. After losing his mother, father, and grandfather to cancer and recently completing radiation for his own Stage-IV prostate cancer, he is passionate about the mission of the Familial Cancer Foundation. David’s extensive work serving the Western New York community over the past three decades has included serving as President of his church’s council for 18 years, organizing and chairing two large charity golf tournaments for the past 9 years, and serving on the Lutheran Charities Board of Directors.
He continues to serve his community today through his active participation as a board member of this foundation. David and his wife of 31 years, Tracy, have two sons, Zachary and Benjamin (who also serves on the FCFWNY Board). In his free time, David enjoys exploring the cultural scene of Buffalo with his family and friends.
Joe has served as Treasurer for the City of Tonawanda since 1988, which is a position that he took not long after graduating from Miami University of Ohio with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. Joe also serves as Treasurer for the Familial Cancer Foundation, and for the Public Employer Risk Management Association. Joe also volunteers his time as Vice Chairman of the Buffalo Erie Niagara Land Improvement Corporation, and as Finance Committee Chairman for St. Francis of Assisi Parish in the City of Tonawanda.
Joe, who is positive for a BRCA 2 mutation, and his wife Nicki, a breast cancer survivor, have two daughters Eugenia and Constantina and live in Tonawanda, NY. He is very active in his church and enjoys spending time with his family and friends, cooking, exercising and sports.
Heather Morris, MBA
Born in Rochester, NY, Heather has been living in Buffalo now for 17 years. She has a BA in Mathematics, BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance, and an MBA, all from the University at Buffalo. She tested positive for the BRCA2 gene mutation in March 2009, has had a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy, and is excited to chat with anyone regarding her journey, as well as help to further educate health professionals in our area regarding the familial cancer world. Her mutation originates on her father's side of the family, with cancers taking the lives of her grandmother and two great-aunts. Heather is currently a full-time mom to a son and daughter, is co-chair of the board of Open Door Nursery School where her children currently attend preschool, and volunteers her typing skills at the Eastern Hills Wesleyan Church. In her spare time, Heather likes to exercise, travel, and spend time with family.
Laura Fisher, CGC
Laura Fisher is the Associate Director of Genetic Counseling at Windsong Health Medical Alliance, where she provides genetic counseling to patients with a personal and/or family history of cancer. Laura is committed to offering a compassionate, informative environment for patients seeking genetic counseling and testing. Previously, she worked for UBMD at Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, providing general genetic counseling for a variety of genetic conditions. In addition to being a local lecturer, Laura teaches first year medical students at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Science where she was nominated for an award in teaching excellence. She also serves as treasurer of the New York State Genetic Counselor Licensure Task Force. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, skiing, and cooking
Benjamin Johnston, BS
Ben was born and raised in Buffalo. The son of Board Secretary David Johnston, he has lost both family and friends to cancer, and he is passionate for the mission, vision, and values that the Foundation upholds. Ben obtained his degree in Neuroscience from Ohio State University, where he was involved in many student organizations, including serving as the Director of Diversity for the Student-Alumni Council and being an active member of the Neuroscience Honorary, Nu Rho Psi. He currently works as a data manager in HIV/AIDS clinical trials at Frontier Science & Technology Research Foundation. In his spare time, Ben enjoys hockey, music, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.