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Author: maria

Les Halstead

“When I finally retired at the end of 2020, I was looking forward to traveling, playing golf, and having time for my drawing and painting. Within 3 weeks of retiring I was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Gut check! I was scared and angry, but mostly scared. Not exactly what I had planned for retirement! Nor had I planned to spend the winter & spring in treatment. Thankfully, I got lucky; the cancer was caught early and the treatment has been successful thus far. Then, this past summer, my daughter introduced me to Roc Solid Foundation… I know firsthand what a cancer diagnosis feels like, but I can’t imagine what it feels like to the parents who receive a cancer diagnosis for one of their children. I’m here for the families and kids and I’m truly grateful that I get to help in a small way.”

Ted Quinn

Ted’s grandson was diagnosed with pediatric cancer (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) in December of 2018 at the age of three. As a “grand” papa bear, Ted saw firsthand the Roc Solid Ready Bag delivery and its profound impact on his family. Since his grandson successfully completed his cancer treatment in June of 2022, this proud grandfather is ready to pay it forward through Roc Solid Foundation. Also, a cancer survivor himself, Ted wants to help achieve the shared goal of providing a Ready Bag to every child diagnosed with cancer in the country.

As of 2013, Ted took over ownership and operations and is the current President and CEO of Health Research of Hampton Roads, a clinical research facility in Newport News. He and his wife Rita reside in Hampton.

Ted loves being on the water and spending time with his family, including the two apples of his eye, grandson Cameron and granddaughter Madelyn.

Mike Wiegand

He says his worst quality is singing… which really makes us want to take him to a karaoke party.

But what he lacks in performing arts, he makes up for in building playsets. As Senior Playset Coordinator, Mike oversees all the logistics of our playset programs.

Mike graduated from Longwood University with a Bachelors in Therapeutic Recreation and is also a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. He has a long history of involvement with nonprofits and loves making a positive impact in his work.

He’s enthusiastic, passionate, open-minded and easy to convince for tagging along on last-minute adventures.

Kelly Perdomo

Kelly always knew she wanted to work with kids. But it wasn’t until her sister was diagnosed with Leukemia that she was introduced to Roc Solid Foundation.

“My sister passing away taught me how short life can be and made me realize that I needed to do something I was passionate about. That’s how I knew Roc Solid was a perfect fit.”

A graduate of Old Dominion University, Kelly is best described as a kind, nurturing person. Which is why she’s so good at working with our Roc Solid families. In many ways, she can relate to what they’re going through, and she’s grateful for the opportunity to spread a little hope to them during their toughest days.

Kelly’s favorite quote pretty much sums her up: “In seeking happiness for others, you will find it in yourself.”

Rebecca Gaster

She says people describe her as the most ridiculous person they know… but we’re sure they mean that in the best possible way. It’s because she’s always smiling, always laughing and never takes herself too seriously.

Rebecca is our development coordinator working with sponsor groups to make sure they have good experiences at our events and to help them find other opportunities to get involved.

A graduate of Virginia Tech, Rebecca also has her Project Management Professional certification, as well as lots of nonprofit experience in volunteer coordination and fundraising.

“I’m called to do this job because of the amazing team I get to work with and the families and sponsor groups I meet. We have an incredible community, and I feed off of their motivation to love and serve our kiddos and families.”

John Janin

“John? Oh, he’s the loud one.” It’s true, but he’s also got a huge, loyal heart for kids fighting cancer. In fact, he’s been involved with Roc Solid literally since it started. As the (volunteer) Director of Play It Forward back then, he was a part of every playset build for the first four years.

John grew up in Portsmouth and received his Bachelor’s in Biology from Christopher Newport University (pretty smart, huh?). He worked in the landscaping industry for many years but always knew he’d officially join the Roc Solid team one day.

“Everything happens for a reason, and now I get to live out the dream I had when Roc Solid started,” he says.

Kathleen Hansen, CCLS

At first impression, Kathleen is very serious, very passionate and very driven. But get to know her, and you realize there’s much more. She’s sarcastic, witty and lots of fun, too.

Kathleen graduated from Wingate University and is a Certified Child Life Specialist, most recently working at a children’s hospital before joining our team. So she already had experience with Roc Solid, handing out Ready Bags to families at diagnosis.

“I had seen what these kids go through in treatment, and I wanted to provide them with positive experiences to have at home. There’s a special place in my heart for these little warriors to have made me laugh, made me cry and made me proud to know them.”

We knew immediately she was a perfect fit for our team, because that dedication to kids fighting cancer has made her great at her job of engaging Roc Solid sponsors and families.

Bryan Sellitti, CCLS

Bryan came to Roc Solid from our local children’s hospital (Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters) where he’d worked for 17+ years as a Child Life Specialist.

Aside from needing to teach him how to “dress down,” the transition to working at Roc Solid was super smooth, as he’d been a huge advocate for our organization since the beginning. At his previous role, he distributed hundreds of Ready Bags to families who had recently been diagnosed with pediatric cancer and also worked with them to schedule Roc Solid playset projects.

“I knew right away this was the next step for my career,” says Bryan. “I’m blessed I get to now help a much larger population of families fighting cancer through this role.”

Bryan is a graduate of West Virginia University and a Certified Child Life Specialist. At Roc Solid, he works with new and existing hospital partners, as well as Roc Solid families, to engage them in our Ready Bag and playset programs.

His best quality? His compassion to care for other people. Worst? He can’t say no. For both reasons and many more, we are lucky to have him!

Stacey Malone

She’s an open book… so whatdoyawanna know?

Stacey brings the sunshine to our team. She’s been compared to “Poppy” (the Troll – the cute kind) because she’s “relentlessly positive and happy, energetic, and easy-going with freckles made of glitter.” It’s her genuine personality, and it’s contagious.

A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Stacey now works to engage Roc Solid donors and sponsors – the perfect fit for a people-pleaser. She’s great at building those relationships and recognizing others’ needs… while also making sure everyone is having a lot of fun.

“When I joined the Roc Solid team, I knew I’d landed in a place where I can put good back into the world, one family at a time.”

Kara Bonvillian

When Kara was 20, she heard the three words nobody wants to hear – You have cancer. It was her sophomore year at Hillsdale College in Michigan. She was on the basketball team, and life was good. But then life as she knew it stopped completely.

After treatment, Kara finished her degree, plus a Master’s at Eastern Virginia Medical School, and then worked as a surgical assistant. But fate and a desire to give back led her to Roc Solid, where she is responsible for financial growth in North Carolina and beyond to support our mission and programs.

Kara’s a goal-driven team member who makes people feel comfortable in any situation and likes to have fun in the process.

“Working with Roc Solid is my opportunity to not ‘waste’ my cancer,” she says. “There’s nothing I could be more passionate about.”