Meet the Board

Meet the Board

Bob Andre | Don Barbacovi | Michael Ferring | Kurt Galley | Frank Halferty | Tom Hayes | Gary McDonald

Bob Andre

In 1985, I moved to Everett and joined The Everett Clinic as an Obstetrician-Gynecologist. I have taken care of thousands of patients over the years, delivering their babies and doing surgery. I retired in 2021. I know the terrible impact cancer has on patients and their family, as do most of you. I lost my dad to cancer when I was 8 years old, and that experience led me to dedicate my life caring for people and practicing medicine. I have witnessed the toil of childhood cancers which can be so devastating. Fellow board member and friend, Don Barbacovi, lost his granddaughter Lucy to leukemia. In 2021 at the Swing for a Cure golf tournament, I heard of the fantastic work of the High-Risk Leukemia Program at Seattle Children’s Hospital, which is the beneficiary of this organization. This program treats all children with leukemia, but also targets those children who have failed conventional therapy and are being treated with new protocols, some of which are not readily available in other areas in our country. Many of these costs are not covered by insurance which is a tremendous burden and a barrier to potential life saving treatment. Any donation is a significant gift to help these special children and their families.

My friends on the board decided to formalize their commitment to this cause and started For A Cure NW. I joined to support their efforts and to support the work of the High-Risk Leukemia Program at Seattle Children’s Hospital. I ask you to join us; please make a donation and support this worthy charity.

Don Barbacovi

Don Barbacovi

A Family’s Ordeal

By Don + Joanie Barbacovi

It was Christmas Eve of 2014. We joined our daughter Nikki and her family for dinner, only to learn that our granddaughter, Lucy, had become extremely ill with pneumonia. Earlier that week, Lucy had seen her pediatrician and two other physicians. At 11:00 that night, while Lucy’s big brother Max, just five, dreamed of Santa’s arrival, the hematologist from Seattle Children’s called to notify Nikki that Lucy had leukemia. Lucy was immediately admitted to the cancer ward at Children’s, and life for our extended family would never again be the same.

Continue reading Don’s story

A blue image of washington state with a red drop of blood in it to symbolize blood cancers.

Michael Ferring

Kurt Galley

I was drawn into working with For A Cure by fellow board member Tom Hayes. After being diagnosed with leukemia himself and while he was still in treatment, he turned his attention to helping others, and specifically children who are living with a leukemia diagnosis. I am honored to be working alongside Tom, the other board members and so many volunteers whose goal is to improve outcomes and provide support for children and families affected by leukemia. 

Frank Halferty

My involvement as a founding member on the board is because two of our Co-Founders of “For A Cure NW” have fought their own personal battles with Leukemia. Tom Hayes has faced the disease head-on and continues to press through it to full recovery. The fight of Don Barbacovi’s grand daughter Lucy with this challenging illness resulted in her passing at the young age of 8. I have watched both of these men as they have moved through very difficult times. I have seen how this has impacted both of them and their families.Their approaches to meeting the tests of Leukemia have been an inspiration to me. I am committed, through “For A Cure NW”, to support children and their families as they confront this terrible illness called Leukemia. Our focus through “For A Cure NW” is to help improve the cure and the process that these children and their families experience as they press forward towards their recovery.

Tom Hayes

My Leukemia Journey

For those of you who don’t know me, my entire 38-year teaching career was spent with 9-12 year olds. I’ve always relished the authenticity and passion of children; little did I know that the adversity I was about to experience would lead back to them.

Diagnosis, Treatment, and a Vision

In December of 2017, shortly after I retired, I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). It is one form of blood cancer. I spent 78 days in treatment at Swedish First Hill hospital with 5 rounds of “drip” chemo fighting this cancer. I was in remission by mid-January, and completed my final hospital stay in June. Throughout this time my cup was ‘half full’ and I always was looking for even the narrowest of paths forward. Family, Team Swedish, supporters, faith, music, water, walking, and belief in self steered my course. It was Michelle, my wife, who brought me through this journey. I don’t know how to express my gratitude to her total commitment in my recovery. My children, Erika and Kristin, were also fundamental in helping me navigate and heal.

Continue reading Tom’s Story

Gary McDonald

The seeds of inspiration for me were planted when I was invited to join a book club recently begun by a few other retired teachers. When I learned that Tom Hayes was a 30+ year elementary teacher, I knew already that he was a candidate for sainthood. Later, I learned he had spent time in Houston after hurricane Harvey, on his own dime, mucking out flooded houses.  He’s not the type to brag, so we didn’t dwell on it.

When I learned he’d been diagnosed with leukemia, it confirmed for me my longtime belief that the worst things in life seem to happen to the best people. It was a helpless feeling following his treatment, but Tom’s innate optimism and determination, and the love and support of scores whose lives he’s touched in some way, gave me comfort that he would be all right.

Continue reading Gary’s Story

Become a Participant

Come enjoy the pleasant company of other generous people who share your interests and also share our purpose.

Join Our Team
ground group growth hands
Current research

Find out about the current progress being made for children with Leukemia as a result of our efforts!

For A Cure NW is recognized under IRC Section 509(a)(2) as a Public Charity. Donors can deduct donations they make to us under IRC Section 170. We are also qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under sections 2055, 2106 or 2522.