The Team Behind the Littlest Tumor Foundation

Tracy Wirtanen, MSW

Tracy Wirtanen, MSW

CEO/Founder

“We invest in the NF community with impactful programming. We lead NF Family Wellness Retreats (free for NF families), the NF Young Adult Leadership Program, and spearhead the NF Collective. We see children soar, moms connect, and young adults find their voices. It is amazing and an honor to be part of it all.”

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Tracy believes in a world filled with innovative neurofibromatosis research, mindful moments, and never-ending running trails. In a few short years, her efforts have established Wisconsin as a bipartisan model of support for NF federal funding, helping build House of Representatives support from 6% to 30%.
Tracy received her Master of Social Work from McGill University, and her Nonprofit Management Certificate from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Nonprofit Management. She currently serves on the Peer Review Panel of the CDMRP NF Research Program. Tracy’s vision continues to guide an innovative, inclusive NF Family Retreat model for families dealing with this disorder.

Gillian Payne

Gillian Payne

Leadership Advocacy Coordinator

Gillian loves being able to advocate alongside other young adults for NF medical research through the NFYA Leadership Program. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science in May of 2020. Before her position as Leadership Advocacy Coordinator, Gillian worked as a political organizer in Milwaukee. She is passionate about those with NF being able to advocate on behalf of themselves and hopes to help build a future where everyone with NF has access to adequate treatments and care.

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Nina is excited to continue learning, grow her professional skills, and gain experience in administrative works. Looking to take the new chapter in her career, Nina got her job as Virtual Professional in Littlest Tumor Foundation in February 2020. 

Nina was born and raised in Manila, Philippines, and has live there all her life. She enjoys baking, traveling, and getting her hands dirty in her garden. Nina also enjoys running, hiking, and spending time with friends and family.

Katrin Patience

Katrin Patience

County Board Supervisor for Outagamie County, Wisconsin

Katrin received her BA and MA in English Literature from Eastern Illinois University before working several years in the precision measuring and tooling industry. During this time she earned her teaching license and taught high school English literature and grammar, from remedial to Advanced Placement, from freshmen to seniors.

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After moving to Appleton, WI, she succumbed to Tracy Wirtanen’s siren song. She was recruited to run for the county board and drawn into various writing projects on behalf of Littlest Tumor Foundation.
Currently Katrin divides her time between LTF’s advocacy efforts, endless Public Safety subcommittees, cooking, gardening, her husband, Rodger, and four cats with big personalities and even bigger hairballs.

Sophia Thomas

Sophia Thomas

Digital Marketing Intern

Sophia is a sophomore at American University majoring in Journalism and International Studies. She has worked as an elementary school tutor, pediatrics volunteer, and Peer Educator for Planned Parenthood. She currently writes for Her Campus at American. Sophia’s greatest passion is bringing awareness to issues that matter through storytelling, and she is proud to advocate on behalf of people with NF. She hopes to promote autonomy for those with NF and a heightened awareness of why NF is something to care about.
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Hannah Kim

Hannah Kim

Research & Programming Intern

Hannah graduated with a degree in Psychology and Health Studies from Bryn Mawr College and hopes to go to medical school soon. As a young adult with NF1, Hannah is passionate about advocating for research so that there will be innovative therapeutic options for patients and meeting the unmet needs of NF families. Hannah has been involved with the Littlest Tumor Foundation after taking part in the NF Young Adult Leadership program. As an intern, she will be helping with various projects for LTF.

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Similar to LTF’s mission are core values, Hannah hopes to create an accessible space and practice of healing that can hold all kinds of bodies and minds when she becomes a physician. In her free time, Hannah loves going on runs, cooking, listening to podcasts, and reading. 

Our Pups

Suki

Suki

Snoozer-in-Chief

By day she’s a snuggling, treat wrangling super sweet dog. Though snoozes through most team meetings, she is still devoted to the NF cause.

Lulu

Lulu

Boss Lady

By day she runs all dog ops. Participates in most all team meetings by barking at passing by dogs. A true leader + advocate who ❤️’s to be of service to the NF community.

Lincoln

Lincoln

NF Pawlicy Advocate

Lincoln is passionate about NF solutions, all things bouncy and squeaky, and protecting his beloved family from the Roomba. Like his namesake, Abraham Lincoln, he knows the importance of political engagement and is an ardent advocate for federally-funded NF research between naps and surfing for crumbs.

In loving memory of Lincoln. We miss him every day 

 

Friday

Friday

Receptionist

Fueled by peanut butter and birdseed, Friday is always ready to greet you with a toothy smile and an anecdote about the Littlest Tumor Foundation! Her top two passions are selfies and NF advocacy, in that order.
Olive

Olive

Purrfect Promoter

Olive is a black long-haired cat with quite the attitude. She is 7 years old but still loves to play and jump like a kitten. She spends her days lounging in bed and begging her mom to pet her. She enjoys cuddles, catnip, scratching couches, and running around the house at 3 am. She has been fondly described by many as “the best cat but also annoying”. 

Saidy

Saidy

Furmidable Fundraiser

Saidy loves to sleep on a warm laptop and make it impossible to work because she’s too cute. She’s been known to claw her way through a bag of treats, and has seen her fair share of weight watchers programs. A three-time flea survivor, Saidy has a heart of gold and a vet bill that’s through the roof. When she’s not eating string, she loves to volunteer her time to the Littlest Tumor Foundation. 

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