ALS doesn't define who you are. It's just part of your life story.
View the videos of others PALS who believe the same and are rewriting their own ending. And send us an e-mail if you believe you have one for us to feature, as well.
A Life Story Foundation’s mission is to raise awareness and create action to discover effective treatments, and ultimately a cure for ALS.
Currently ALS is a fatal disease with no known cause. It rapidly robs a person of the ability to walk, speak, and ultimately breath, while the mind remains fully intact and imprisoned.
Shortly after his diagnosis with ALS in 2012, founder Kevin Swan quickly realized howfew people knew of this devastating disease and that it seems to attack the best and brightest members of our communities. He has made a commitment to share these larger than life personalities with the world, one story at a time to ensure we find a cure for this horrific disease.
Kevin Swan was diagnosed with ALS in February of 2012 and founded A Life Story Foundation in April of that same year. Before focusing 100% of his time on finding a cure for this horrible disease, by way of storytelling, he was the Director Of Communications for SingleHop, a rapidly growing Infrastructure Service Provider located in Chicago.
Prior to moving to Chicago, Swan spent almost 7 years in New York City. The first half of his tenure was spent on Madison Avenue (working in advertising, not panhandling) and the second half was spent creating and managing, what the New York Times called a “fledgling” television production company.
Swan’s tenacity and ability to always see the positive side of every situation are at the core of the foundation’s mission to completely abolish disease.
Julie Swan, Chief Financial Officer of A Life Story Foundation, recently retired from an impressive thirty four career at a Fortune 100 Company as a Vice President of Finance. Throughout her career, Julie held numerous positions including leading strategic initiatives dealing with difficult industry issues. She graduated from Georgetown University with a Bachelor of Science and from Nova University with a MBA. Julie has served on the board of other non profit organizations, including Women’s Foodservice Forum, Boys and Girls Club of Manatee County, Florida, T.E.A.
(Together Erasing Autism), and Boys and Girls Club of Broward County. Julie is married and lives with her husband Ken, in Bradenton, Florida and is the mother of two grown sons.
Jeff Coppaken is Vice President of A Life Story Foundation. Jeff has been involved in past A Life Story Foundation events, the launch of the social media platforms as well as many other aspects of the Foundation.
Jeff attended Arizona State University for his undergraduate degree in Marketing. While at ASU, Jeff and Kevin became friends while both were part of the Theta Chi Fraternity. After ASU, Jeff spent 9 years working in the Aftermarket Automotive Industry working with corporate auto part chains. Jeff then attended the University of Kansas for law school. Jeff is a business attorney in Kansas City, (www.coppakenlaw.com). When Jeff is not at work or working with the foundation, he is trying to keep up with his two young sons. Jeff and his wife, Blaine live in Kansas City.
Andy has built his career in the internet infrastructure industry, holding positions at an early age as a server build technician to system administrator. This experience helped Andy become one of the internet industry’s most respected and well known technologists. As the Chief Technology Officer for A Life Story Foundation, Andy oversees everything technical, ensuring that operationally, ALSF is always working efficiently leveraging the latest technologies.
Kristina is a 17 year veteran of the marketing world. Most recently she has lead the relationship with Proctor & Gamble’s New Business Creation unit, working closely with her clients to develop new-to-the-world product lines for a variety of target audiences. Her passion for innovation has been fed by clients like JetBlue Airways, Bloomberg, Diageo, Microsoft and Qwest Communications. The integrated campaigns she has been a part of have won industry awards for creativity as well as delivering strong business results. She has an insatiable curiosity about everything from what makes consumers tick to making things happen in a smarter, more creative and efficient way. A born and bred New Yorker, Kristina appreciates the speed and purpose that leads to successful innovation and brings her direction and motivation to the Leo Burnett team.
Zak Boca is one of the Principals of SingleHop, a Chicago-based infrastructure service provider. Founded in 2006, the company has reached over $25 million in revenue, and currently has over 75 employees based in the Chicago area. The company was featured on the INC 500 list for three consecutive years with over 7,300% growth, and ranked as the #2 fastest growing IT Services company in the US. Prior to SingleHop, Zak formed midPhase, a Chicago-based company, which he bootstrapped to $16 million in revenue and 160,000 customers before being acquired.