Meet Our Team
Tracy Wirtanen is the passionate CEO/Founder of the Littlest Tumor Foundation (LTF). She wants to live in a world filled with innovative NF research, mindful moments, & 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 Representative’s support from 6% to 25%. Currently she serves on the Peer Review Panel of the CDMRP NF Research Program. Her vision continues to guide an innovative, inclusive NF Family Retreat model for families dealing with this disorder.
Katrin Patience is a County Board Supervisor for Outagamie County, Wisconsin. She 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.
After moving to Appleton, WI, she succumbed to Tracy Wirtanen’s siren song and was recruited to run for the county board and then 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 three cats with big personalities and even bigger hairballs.
Pierson Kohrell is a kale connoisseur, plant-based diet follower, yoga enthusiast, weight lifter, Hamline University graduate, nature lover, and current YMCA Elementary School Site Supervisor.
I am excited to announce that I have begun consulting for Littlest Tumor Foundation. I am focusing on building the annual NF Family Wellness Retreat. For the past four years, I have volunteered in the children’s portion of the retreat, so I have extensive knowledge about how the retreat functions and thrives. My primary goal as a consultant for LTF is to see brand-new, shining faces at the retreat!
Littlest Tumor Foundation’s message of health and wellness is what initially inspired me to volunteer at the annual retreat. However, as I have become more familiar with the organization, I realize that health and wellness is only one part of the many amazing things that Littlest Tumor Foundation does.
Jolene Morgan–Ducat-I have been involved with the Littlest Tumor Foundation since the very beginning; it has helped me to learn so much about Neurofibromatosis, the impact it has on the families, the need for advocacy and, most importantly, about myself.
After five years of volunteering at the multiple fundraising events and the annual family wellness retreat, I knew I wanted to do more, so I made the decision to go back to school for my Associate’s Degree in Human Services. When it came time for me to do my internship, it seemed only natural for me to intern at the organization that inspired me to go back to school in the first place.
The Littlest Tumor Foundation is unique because it is a grass-roots organization where everybody has a voice. We are not simply told what to do; we are asked to give our input into every project we have going on, and we are given the encouragement and support with the projects we are working on.
I am excited to have the opportunity to continue to grow with the Littlest Tumor Foundation as I continue my journey through learning and life.
Lauren Ray wants to live in a world where tumors in children do not exist, and where medium roast brews, French vanilla creamer, and soft cheeses are always in reach. As an intern with the Littlest Tumor Foundation, she will help to work towards the NF solution while staying properly caffeinated.
Lauren is a junior at Lawrence University, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology with a minor in Spanish. On campus, she works with Special Olympics of the Fox Cities through the Student Athletic Advisory Committee and will be traveling to Botswana to study global health and development in the winter and spring. After Lawrence, she plans to attend graduate school and enter into a career in public health. She is inspired by the work of Paul Farmer and hopes someday to improve the lives of others through a holistic, culturally-relative approach to health and well-being.
When she’s not in Lawrence’s Seeley G. Mudd Library, Lauren can be found playing for the university’s women’s volleyball team, volunteering with her sorority, Delta Gamma, or asking to pet every dog that walks by.