Our Mission: To provide essential support and services to families affected by childhood cancer through family networking, community awareness, financial assistance and advocacy for a cure.


Mary Kay Pederson -President /  Co-Founder

Mary Kay and her husband Corey experienced how cancer treatment affects a family when their daughter Emma was diagnosed at 3. As they balanced caring for Emma and her younger sister Abby, it was evident that support was critical for enduring the challenges having a child with cancer can create. Mary Kay has experience serving the community as a Junior League of Kalamazoo volunteer and  board member, it was this experience that gave her the knowledge and confidence to start a nonprofit for families affected by pediatric cancer. She partnered with the Bennecke family and formally incorporated Cancer Families United in 2012.

Amanda Rounds / Vice President

Amanda is a local mother and Early Elementary Music Teacher  from Mattawan, MI whose son had leukemia when he was 3. She too saw the need for support, awareness and advocacy for better treatment methods for little kids. Her compassion for what other families would experience with out support lead her to serve as a board volunteer. She is an effective and successful advocate that has raised more than $20,000 for both research and CFU programs through the Mattawan Dream Team; a group of dedicated High School students that raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer.

Sara Crum / Secretary

Sara is the PTO President of Ryan Intermediate in the Gull Lake School District and has a passion for community work. She has extensive experience serving as a board member volunteer through her PTO work at Richland Elementary, as PTO president, as well as Ryan Intermediate. She too witnessed first hand how a family is affected by childhood cancer and it was this experience that lead her to serve as a board volunteer and support the CFU mission.



Dr. Tina Elliott

Dr. Elliott is the lead oncologist of the Bronson Pediatric Hematology/Oncology clinic and offers her support for the CFU mission. She has been a practicing doctor at the clinic since 1998 and has been an oncologist since 1993.  She works daily with the children and families who are in active treatment and sees first hand how necessary support is for them. She guides us on the hospital privacy requirements and facilitates the relationship with the clinic staff and CFU.


Farrell Howe

Farrell is the Marketing and Public Relations Director for the Kalamazoo Public Library. She brings many years of nonprofit, board service and marketing experience to Cancer Families United. She also knows first hand what kind of impact CFU support has on families; her son Garrett was diagnosed when he was 2 1/2 and she and her husband Colin received one of the Family Care Bags. With that one gift, they didn’t feel as alone or isolated – someone cared and knew what they needed to endure the treatment journey. Garrett has reached remission, but continues his treatment until 2017. We appreciate her commitment to childhood cancer advocacy and service to CFU.