About Bite Me Cancer

Bite Me Cancer was formed as a nonprofit foundation in September, 2010, by Nikki Ferraro, who was 17-years old at the time. Nikki was diagnosed with a rare form of thyroid cancer in April 2010 when she was a junior at Chantilly HS in Virginia. Nikki was determined to lead a Relay for Life team just two weeks after her diagnosis. She named the team Bite Me Cancer and experienced immediate success. When Nikki decided to create a foundation a few months later, she wanted to continue the legacy of her team name and thus her foundation became the Bite Me Cancer Foundation.

The Relay for Life Experience

Within three days of setting up her Relay team online, Nikki raised $5,000! This was exciting news as she was preparing for surgery just a few days later. Thirty friends joined her team and she was humbled by the help and enthusiasm so many brought to the relay effort. Her godmother ordered bracelets to hand out (with the team name on them and with thyroid cancer colors), and Nikki designed two t-shirts that were sold to raise money.

Despite the hesitancy of her parents, who were not in favor of Nikki leading a team and participating in the actual Relay event so soon after having surgery to treat the cancer, Nikki's team finished in first place when The American Cancer Society closed the books. Nikki also finished in 1st place as the individual fundraiser at the event and the #1 online individual fundraiser for the 8-state South Atlantic Region of American Cancer Society. "The Relay for Life experience was amazing!" said Nikki.

Creating the Foundation

Following the Relay in the summer of 2010, Nikki told her parents that she wanted to keep the Bite Me Cancer name alive to continue her focus of raising money for cancer research and to help others with cancer. Her parents weren't in favor of the time and financial commitment a new foundation would take, and they were actually still focused on their daughter's cancer diagnosis and treatment. But Nikki was persistent, and the foundation was created. Nikki was involved in the legal processes and plans to create the foundation and also helped to design the logo and layout of the website, as well as created the foundation's mission and goals.

Nikki and her parents are grateful for all the pro bono consultants (legal, financial, web design), volunteers, board members and advisory council members who have been involved throughout process of establishing and launching the foundation.

Bite Me Cancer's Purpose

Nikki believes that it is very important to support teens with cancer because she didn't find much support when she was diagnosed and in treatment. The pediatric and adult programs didn't address her needs, and she knew that other teens would have the same experience. Nikki also wanted her foundation to raise awareness and research funds for thyroid cancer as it is the fastest growing cancer in the United States.

The Bite Me Cancer board members as of 7/16/2014 are:

  • Nikki Ferraro: James Madison University student (Founder and Member of all committees)
  • C. Michael Ferraro: Training Solutions, Inc. (Chairman of Board and Co-chair of Events/Fundraising Committee)
  • Meryl Bisaga: Brambleton Group, LCC (Vice-Chairman, Co-Chair of Events/Fundraising Committee)
  • Sharon Ferraro: Training Solutions, Inc. (Secretary and Co-chair of Communications Committee)
  • Adam Castleman: Pipaya Partners (Treasurer and Co-chair of Finance/Operations Committee)
  • Mike Condro: Deliotte (Member of Finance/Operations Committee)
  • Bill Craig: WiSC Enterprises (Member of Events/Fundraising Committee)
  • Colin Callahan: Colin Callahan & Associates, LLC (Co-chair of Teen Support Committee)
  • Stephanie Eberhart: TalentRemedy (Co-Chiar of Teen Support Committee)
  • Traci Kendall: George Mason University (Member of the Events/Fundraising Committee)
  • Matt McQueen: Northrop Grumman (Member, Communications Committee)
  • Lisa Nicholls: Tira! Strategies (Co-chair of Communications Committee)
  • Chris Reiley: Virginia Heritage Bank (Co-Chair of Finance/Operations Committee)
  • Mark Searle: HP (Co-chair of Events/Fundraising Committee)
  • Debijo Wheatley: Designs by Debijo (Director of Volunteers)

The advisory council members as of 7/16/2014 are:

  • Samantha Baker: Ballston Bid (Member of Events/Fundraising Committee)
  • Emilie Ball, Cancer Survivor and College Student (Member of Teen Support Committee)
  • Sara Barokas: Thyroid cancer survivor
  • Ken Bartee: Board of Visitors, James Madison University
  • Jillian Beuschel, Nothrop Grumman (Member of Communications Committee)
  • Jeanine Callahan: Eagle Ray, Inc.
  • Gina Cocomello:(Member of Events/Fundraising Committee)
  • Brett Coffee: CSCI
  • Jenny Couch: Providge Consulting (Member of Communications Committee)
  • Peter Crain: Cooley LLP (Member of Finance/Operations Committee)
  • Nicolette Daleske (Member of Teen Support Committee)
  • Kevin Deans: KFA Private Wealth Group (Member of Finance/Operations Committee)
  • Kymberlee Dwinell: Northrop Grumman
  • Michael Frey: Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Sully District Representative
  • Kristie Hayes, College Student (Member of Teen Support Committee)
  • Julianne Holmblad: George Mason University student (Member of Teen Support Committee)
  • Bill Hoover: CEO, American Systems
  • JD Kathuria: WashingtonExec
  • Jay Liwanag: Noblis
  • Delegate Ken Plum: 36th District, Virginia General Assembly
  • Delegate Tom Rust: 86th District, Virginia General Assembly
  • Sue Schoonmaker, Grid Design Group (Member of Communications Committee)
  • Lesa Short: Thyroid Cancer Survivor
  • Colleen Gillis Snow: Cooley LLP
  • Jen Sterling: Red Thinking
  • Betsy Valentino: Fast Signs (Member of Teen Support Committee)
  • Jensen Vessels: Aronson Capital Partners (Member of Teen Support Committee)
  • Jean White: Consultant
  • Pat Wirth (Member of Communiations Committee)
  • Laura Youngs: Metters, Inc. (Member of Events/Fundraising Committee)