Click on a board member's picture to read his or her bio.
In 2003, I met Alese at the funeral of a mutual friend who also died from recurrent Hodgkin’s disease. From the moment I met Alese, I was taken aback by how she lived life in the face of tragedy. She was amazing. There was no self-pity or complaining. She lived, she loved and inspired contagious hope in everyone she came in contact with.
I am pursuing my Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science/Pre-Law with the intent of transferring to UCLA or USC in fall 2008 to begin law school.
I’m an accomplished dancer and have performed in Japan, Germany, the Czech Republic and across the United States.
Shallyn Coco - Alese's sister
My sister, my confidante and my best friend…
I will pursue this cause with the same passion that Alese lived life.
P.S. The only reason I picked this picture was that Alese loved these sunglasses.
Aaron Coco - Alese's Cousin
I spent a lot of time with Alese during her battle with Hodgkin’s disease, traveling to New York to see Dr. O, going with her to local appointments and staying with her during hospital stays. There were no complaints, no self-pity, and no loathing. She lived life with an infectious passion that inspired everyone she came in contact with.
I’ve played amateur ice hockey at every level since the age of five, including the Junior Olympic team. I live the teamwork concept. Although the players, planning and goals for this campaign excite me, I realize this undertaking is much bigger than just the initial team. From the very start this Board of Directors is loaded with All-Stars and the foundation they’ve laid for this campaign will benefit the entire Hodgkin’s community in the years to come.
I’m currently a student at the University of San Francisco pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Finance and Spanish.
I met Alese after she moved to the East coast. The first time we met was on October 12th, 2005 at 3:00 on a sunny, crisp Wednesday afternoon, and I remember it as if it were yesterday.
I am a Madison New Jersey police officer. I was working a day shift, assigned to a walking beat in the center business district. Alese was traveling eastbound on Main Street in Madison, she was driving her black convertible with the top down, wearing huge sunglasses, her blond hair was flowing in the breeze; and it was 60 degrees outside. I don't know if my police uniform caught her eye or just my smile as she waved driving past me. However, forty-five minutes later I observed that same black sports car now traveling westbound on Main Street, only this time I noticed her car had no front license plate. Being the attentive police office that I am, I conducted a traffic stop and introduced myself.
Alese introduced me to her dog Lola, who was along for the ride. I explained to Alese the reason for the motor vehicle stop, and quickly found out she was my next-door neighbor. I didn't issue Alese a traffic citation. I remember her driving away waving and that was all the two of us needed.
From that day on, we did everything together. Alese and I shared that same carefree happy outlook on life. I was fortunate to meet Dr. O'Conner or “Dr. O” as Alese referred to him. I took Alese to the city several times for treatment and learned about life every minute I was with her.
I wasn't there when she passed. I received a call from Shallyn and I knew when the phone rang.
Alese came to me in a dream one summer night when I was in Wildwood, New Jersey. It gave me assurance I would see her again someday.
I met Alese on an airplane from Long Beach, CA to my hometown, New York City on Christmas Eve, 2005.
I later found out she was not even originally going to be on that flight; I consider myself lucky and blessed that Alese (and Shallyn) happened to be sitting across the aisle that night. I overheard her mention to Shallyn something about Hodgkin’s disease and my first instinct was to whip around and say: “I had Hodgkin’s.” Alese and I simply clicked immediately. Where other people may have found my uninvited exclamation of having had cancer in response strange or rude, Alese in classic Alese fashion, displayed her unique and trademark energy, donned her absolutely giant and contagious smile, and said genuinely, “Oh my gosh! You have to come sit with us!”Never before had a five-and-a-half hour plane ride seem so short. Alese once described our meeting, I believe, perfectly when she said it was Fate. Alese always treated me as her equal despite her being older than I. And, because of my experiences with the disease, I think I look up to Alese for many reasons, none of which have to do with her being literally older and taller. She was the strongest, kindest, most positive, determined, generous, intelligent, and beautiful person I have encountered.
She often said she was proud of the manner in which I now live, as a survivor, but whether or not she knew it, Alese's passion for life is something I keep in mind every single day. I don't think I told her often enough how proud I am for her unmatched grace and courage throughout her fight with Hodgkin's. Alese's presence in my life truly made me a better person, and I'm proud to have been her close friend. Her presence in my life is sorely missed and yet, I'm sure she would want nothing more than our continuing to Fight 2 Win, to ensure that the score will always be Cancer 0.
I graduated from New York City's Horace Mann School in 2006 and currently attend Columbia University majoring in Political Science. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in June of 2000 at the age of twelve. I am exceedingly happy to be a part of this campaign and to continue Alese's admirable and inspiring fight against Hodgkin's.