Our Mission

The Journey Fund assists those affected by cancer who are facing social, financial, or emotional obstacles on their courageous journey with dignity. By addressing barriers through acts of kindness and dignity, The Journey Fund ensures that no one should feel alone on the journey.

Our purpose is to provide services ranging from transportation to daily needs, physical and mental wellness, and program development.

Diversity Statement

The Journey Fund is committed to equity for all people and systems in our communities. We welcome and serve all, regardless of race, nationality, religion, faith, gender, sexual orientation, cultural background, and ability.

Meet the Board

Sibel Blau, MD
Founder, President

Medical Oncologist

Dr. Blau has been in clinical practice since 2001. She is also very involved with clinical research program at Northwest Medical Specialties where she is the Medical Director for Hematology-Oncology division and is the head of the Precision Medicine program.

Laureen Skirvan
Vice President

President of Wren & Willow, Inc

Laureen Skrivan is President of Wren & Willow, Inc. a design-build general contractor. She began the company in 2008, has been a board member of the Master Builders Association of Pierce County for ten years, and served as their president in 2014.

Suzanne Maniatis

Local small business owner retired, Food Service Director/Registered Dietitian at Multicare Good Samaritan and Tacoma General Hospitals, retired.

Served on a variety of Foundation Boards including Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community and the Board of Visitors for Children’s Therapy Building program at Good Samaritan Hospital.

Donna Banks, RN

Nurse Case Manager

Donna Banks is a nurse navigator/case manager at Northwest Medical Specialties. She has been an oncology nurse for over 20 years and couldn’t imagine working with any other patient population. Donna created several patient assistance programs over the years and is very excited to serve on The Journey Fund’s board. “What a blessing it is to me to help a cancer patient in their greatest time of need.” 

Daniel Kelly
Board Member

Dan is a seasoned professional with a rich background in psychology, healthcare, education, and community engagement. A graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in Psychology, Dan’s journey led him to the healthcare sector, where he dedicated his skills as an Executive Assistant and Clinical Support Coordinator, in Oncology, at Northwest Medical Specialties. Drawing from this valuable experience, Dan transitioned to the field of education and currently excels as a high school instructor at Adna Middle High School.

At the heart of Dan’s professional journey is a profound desire to support community members facing challenges. His commitment is particularly evident in his role as a compassionate advocate for cancer patients. Having navigated the complexities of the healthcare sector, Daniel understands the unique needs of individuals on their cancer treatment journey.

Nancee Alvord
Board Member

Nancee has thirty years of experience in education, teaching special education, birth through adulthood, junior high science, math and English, and classes for upcoming teachers through City University.

She earned both a Bachelors in Science and Master’s degree from Central Washington University. In addition, Nancee is Certified as a Principal and a Special Education Administrator which led to her experiences as a Special Education Specialist, Vice Principal, and Supervisor of Special Programs prior to retiring in 2017 from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), as the Supervisor of WaKids for Washington State.

Nancee has worked on many local, county, and state educational committees. She has organized teams to raise money for continued cancer research, has participated with the Adaline Coffman Guild, and continues to be on the Executive Board for Women United of Lewis County and The Journey Fund Board.

Nancee took an early retirement due to cancer rapidly spreading throughout her personal inner circle. She spent time as a caregiver and advocate navigating the healthcare system.

Nancee has first- hand experience working with individual’s and family needs while advocating, supporting and navigating through the overwhelming, scary, and confusing journey of cancer.

Mary Stumph, Co-Founder
Past Executive Director

Application Committee

Mary Stumph graduated with a degree in Pharmacy from Washington State University. She recently retired after a 30 year career in pharmaceuticals with Eli Lilly & Co. Mary is a breast cancer survivor and passionate about helping patients with their journey through cancer. She is excited for her role as Executive Director of The Journey Fund.

Meet the Executive Director

Abra P. Kelson
Executive Director

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW)

Abra Kelson, a ten-year social worker, has served as an oncology social worker for over eight years and has been on the board of directors with The Journey Fund since its founding. Abra has continually served in leadership roles working to promote psychosocial oncology, advancing programs and services related to practical, social, and emotional aspects of cancer care. Additionally, Abra is a passionate advocate in state and federal arenas, advocating for improvements in cancer care, including access, quality, and cost.