J’s Run’s mission is to raise funds for research and early detection, and support those affected by Pancreatic Cancer in the Lehigh Valley
J’s Run is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to finding a cure for pancreatic cancer. Founded in 2009, by Jennifer LoConte, J’s Run 5k Run/Walk initially began as Joan’s Run and was dedicated to her mother. Joan Stein passed away on Nov. 16th, 2009, just 51 days after being diagnosed with stage IV metastatic pancreatic cancer.
Shortly after her mother’s death, Jennifer learned of a 2nd woman, Jennifer Reeves, who lived in her neighborhood and was battling the same horrific disease. Diagnosed at age 35, Jennifer was a wife, mother of two young children and pre-school teacher. The two Jennifers met while Reeves was in the hospital and soon afterward, Joan’s Run was renamed as J’s Run in order to pay tribute to both Joan and Jennifer. Reeves passed away on May 10, 2010, 6 months after being diagnosed.
These two women lost their lives to a disease with no early detection, little treatment, and NO cure! Simply stated, they deserved better. Better and earlier diagnosis, better treatment and ultimately a cure!
J’s Run, the organization, became official in 2012. Our board is made up of caring individuals whose lives were personally affected by pancreatic cancer. (See Our Board for additional info about our members) We, at J’s Run, are dedicated to raising awareness and putting our dollars towards top-notch research programs where the medical field is determined to find a cure!
Laura Beaupre, President. Laura obtained a BS in Nursing from DeSales University and has been an RN at Lehigh Valley Hospital for over 25 years. Laura is certified as an Oncology Nurse and Oncology Nurse Navigation, and she is the Manager of the Oncology Navigation team. She is married and mother of four, and in her spare time she volunteers at her kids’ school and at cancer awareness events throughout the Lehigh Valley. Laura has lost her grandmother, great-Aunt, and three cousins to Pancreatic Cancer, and was able to help her father enroll in an early detection study that may have prevented the same fate for him. She says that she will continue working for this cause until she, her siblings, and her children are no longer at high risk for this disease!
Christopher Reeves, Vice President. Chris was born and raised in Yardley, PA and graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1996. He is employed as an Information Technology Professional specifically for the Life Sciences industry where he implements new computer systems with expertise in document management systems. He is currently working as a consultant for Bristol-Myers Squibb managing Information Technology projects for some of the regulatory departments. He was an active committee member for J’s run in 2011 and also helped organize a “J’s Journey” Walk in central PA to help raise funds for pancreatic cancer in memory of his wife, Jennifer Reeves. Chris is a proud and busy Father of 2 school-aged children.
Lisa Flok, Secretary. Lisa is the Director of Radiation Oncology at Lehigh Valley Health Network. She earned a degree in Radiation Therapy from Gwynedd Mercy College in 1986 and a Master’s Degree in Health Administration from the University of St Francis in 2010. Lisa’s career has been dedicated to caring for cancer patients and their families. In January 2014, her brother-in-law was diagnosed with advanced Stage IV pancreas cancer. Joseph “Ace” Flok lost his battle in January 2015 at the age of 59. Lisa lives with her husband Dan in Macungie, Pa.
Tom Beaupre, Treasurer. is a Social Studies teacher and subject leader at Southern Lehigh High School, and husband of Laura Beaupre, our co-President. He was raised in Lowell Massachusetts, but has lived in the Lehigh Valley for over 25 years. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Moravian college and his Masters in Education from Kutztown University. He is a busy father of four and enjoys hiking, distance running, and spending time with his family. He is happy to be able to help in the fight against pancreatic cancer.
Mel Lancet, Board Member. Originally from Queens, New York, Mel is currently employed as a Production Technician at Powdersize, Inc., following a 25-year career in financial services. Mel lost his nephew to pancreatic cancer in just one month and also lost his mother to bladder cancer. Having recently moved back to Bethlehem, Mel is married and enjoys competitive running.
Anitra Winker, Board Member. Raised in Tokyo & Hong Kong, she received her BS in Hotel/Restaurant management from Georgia Southern University. She works part time and is a mom of two. In Feb of 2011, her Father was diagnosed with stage II pancreatic cancer. Upon his diagnosis, Anitra, along with her mother and sister, started the Teed Off at Cancer Charity Golf Tournament to help make a difference. She met Jennifer LoConte as her father was going through treatment at the 2nd Annual J’s Run. Unfortunately, he lost his battle after just 20 shorts weeks. They have raised over $36,000 since his diagnosis and they continue the golf tournament annually in his memory.
Deb Schweitzer, Board Member. Deb received her BS in Nursing from Wilkes
University in 1988 and has been a medical-surgical RN at Lehigh Valley Hospital
for almost 28 years. She holds her certification in Med-Surg nursing. She is
married to her husband, Stephen, and has 2 grown children. In 2003, Deb lost her
father to pancreatic cancer at the age of 65 after a painful 10 month battle.
She also lost her 2 1/2 year old nephew to retinoblastoma just 3 months later.
Deb was glad to be asked to join in this very important mission to fight this
Jennifer LoConte, Founder. In 2009, Jennifer initially organized J’s Run (then Joan’s Run) while her mother was battling stage IV metastatic pancreatic cancer. Jennifer is dedicated to finding a cure for this disease that took her mother’s life just 51 days after diagnosis. Jennifer earned a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Suffolk University and a BS in Professional Writing from Emerson College, both in Boston, MA. She is currently a freelance writer. She is a former public relations specialist and research analyst with the Boston P.D. Jennifer has published an eye-opening story on pancreatic cancer through Men’s Health as well as several other published pieces on the disease. She is married and mother of three children.
Ann Marie Miller, Board Member. Ann is a licensed genetic counselor who works for Myriad Genetics Laboratory as a Regional Medical Specialist. Ann works closely with health care providers to educate them about the importance of family history and identifying individuals at risk for a hereditary cancer syndrome. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from Utica College of Syracuse University and her master’s degree from Howard University, Washington, DC. Prior to becoming Co-President Ann served as the Secretary and an At-Large member of the board.
Janelle Sharma, Fundraising Chair