Board of Directors


Marty Andrews – Chair of the Board

Marty was diagnosed with stage III rectal cancer in May of 2009 at the age of 33. Shortly after his diagnoses he learned of the Colon Club and finally felt like he was not alone. Seeing all the other people under 50 and reading their stores brought hope and a desire to fight his battle.  He vowed to himself that if he won his battle he would apply to be in the Colondar. Marty made good on his promise and applied to be in the 2014 Colondar. He was selected and featured as Mr. July.  The experience the Colon Club provided Marty was a sense of feeling “normal” again. Marty says that he can never repay the Colon Club for what they have given to him.  He feels very passionate about supporting the organization and giving someone else the same opportunity he feels so blessed to have received. In his professional life Marty has had a longstanding career in retail and is a Director of Loss Prevention and Risk Management. He is originally from the Seattle area but relocated to Southern California in 2002 where he still resides today.

Tom Bates – Vice Chair

Tom Bates, graduate of Mercer University class of 1976, is the VP/COO of Herlong, Bates, Burnett Insurance Inc. and has been actively involved in the insurance industry and its member organizations for 40 years. Tom began his insurance career as a claims adjuster then transitioned to an agent role where he began assisting clients with both Property and Casualty and Life and Health needs. Outside of working as an lindseyagency principal and sitting on many insurance advisory boards, Tom also dedicates his time to The Cancer Survivors Park Alliance Board, The Colon Club Board, the Downtown Sertoma Club/Camp Sertoma, and Buncombe Street Methodist Church. Tom’s beloved daughter, Lindsey Motley, was featured in the 2015 Colondar 2.0 and sadly passed away in Feb. 2016.


Treasurer – Chris Wills

Chris found The Colon Club’s website and the Colon Talk message board in the summer of 2009, shortly after his wife, Staci, was diagnosed with Stage III rectal cancer at age 32. Since her diagnosis, he’s been an advocate for colorectal cancer awareness and education, and he and Staci (Miss October in the 2012 Colondar) are active participants in the Get Your Rear in Gear series of 5K races. In his “day job,” Chris manages software and infrastructure projects for a large bank. He serves as The Colon Club’s treasurer and helps Sergei and others with the website when needed. Chris lives in Berlin Center, Ohio with Staci and their three children – Madeleine, Connor, and Murphy.

Debbie Belschner –  Co-Treasurer

Deb Belschner joined the Colon Club board of directors Jan. 2016. Her daughter, Christy Joyce Schmeilerchristy, was a featured survivor in the 2015 Colondar 2.0 magazine and sadly passed away in February 2015, before she could see it in print. It was through Christy’s CRC journey that Deb was introduced to the Colon Club. Deb promised Christy that she would continue to advocate for her and all others that are fighting against this disease. Deb attends Call on Congress annually, advocates and speaks to groups within her community and hosts annual fundraisers benefiting the Colon Club. Deb is a nurse by trade, currently doing case management work for a national insurer. She enjoys gardening, fitness walking and ringing in her church handbell choir. Deb lives in Pittsburgh with her husband, Jim, her grandson, a dog and a cat.

Brittany Sliter – Secretary

Brittany was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2012 at the age of twenty-three. While looking for answers during treatment she discovered the Colon Club and was amazed to find others diagnosed with colon cancer at a young age. She applied for the Colondar and was chosen to take part in the 2014 release. It was a completely life changing experience and forever changed her outlook on her diagnosis. Because of this Brittany wants to give back to the organization that gave her so much and help ensure others have the chance to have the same experience as well as raising awareness of the risk of colon cancer in young adults. Brittany is originally from New York and has moved to Golden, Colorado where many of her relationships with friends have started through the help of the Colon Club.

Ashley Flynn

Ashley was diagnosed with Stage III rectal cancer at the age of 24. She had been having telltale signs of colorectal cancer for three years, but her symptoms continued to be pushed off by healthcare professionals as something minor. When she received the diagnosis of rectal cancer, she had never heard of someone her age diagnosed with this “old man’s” disease. During her chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Ashley discovered The Colon Club and she immediately knew she wanted to be a part of The Colondar. Ashley was featured as Miss March in the 2014 Colondar. Ashley is passionate about being your own health advocate and spreading awareness of colorectal cancer. In her professional life, Ashley is a nurse practitioner focusing on the specialty of pediatric oncology


Phuong Gallagher

Phuong was diagnosed with stage IIIc rectal cancer in July of 2007, shortly after she was married and at only 29 years of age.  It was another three years of treatment before a chance meeting would lead her to The Colon Club.  Once she found her way there, she was all in.  Until then, Phuong had no idea how powerful her story was and the level of advocacy that she could achieve.  Being chosen to become a featured survivor in the 2016 Colondar 2.0 was a life-changing event.  The Colon Club showed her how much she could help people by sharing her story.  Colon Camp showed her how far her voice could be heard.  She needed to do more for this unique organization because they do so much for others.  So she joined the board.  In her professional life, Phuong is a Data Consultant at the largest privately owned insurance brokerage worldwide.  Having moved their daughter (Taylor) into college, Phuong has recently moved back to Southern California with her husband (Ed) and their cat (Jangles).

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Laura M.

Laura was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer in December of 2009, at the age of 23. She was in the middle of law school when she received the news. Laura had surgery three days after her diagnosis and went on to complete six months of chemotherapy, followed by five weeks of radiation. Bound and determined that a cancer diagnosis would not interfere with her career aspirations, Laura kept on working during her treatment and graduated law school 3 months behind schedule after taking a semester off. The Colon Club came to Laura’s attention after seeing a high school classmate featured in the 2013 Colondar. She applied to be in the 2014 edition; was selected and appeared as Ms. June, 2014. Prior to meeting her Colon Club family, Laura had never reached out to anyone to talk about her diagnosis, treatment or how it impacted her life. The week spent at Lake George changed her life. She felt a sense of belonging and developed a new passion for raising awareness. Laura has now made it a personal mission to share her story and raise awareness that colon cancer can happen to anyone, at any age.