Off The Charts Club empowers children battling cancer by giving them personalized capes. When possible they are personally delivered by our Chief Happiness Officer, 9-year-old Matteo. Click the names of Luca from Virginia, Sofia from Nebraska, and Teddy from Alabama to see how capes boosted their cancer-fighting SuperPowers.
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We have a team of multi-generational, inspiring leaders who embody the spirit of selfless determination. Off The Charts Club travels to races near and far to use running as a tool for mobilizing community support for children battling cancer. LEARN MORE
We create opportunities for elementary to high school age youth to learn the value of community service and develop leadership skills. These initiatives are led by two youth ambassadors who have overcome cancer to become role models in the community.
Elyssia “Leesee” Brown is a sophomore at Battlefield High School in Northern Virginia. Elyssia conducts community outreach and serves as a role model for children who are battling life-threatening illnesses or facing adversity. She was diagnosed with T-Cell Leukemia in August, 2018, and still receives treatment at INOVA Fairfax. Elyssia is a bilingual (Spanish) honor roll student who plays softball, basketball, and piano. She was recently selected as Top Cadet in the Homeland Security Investigation Training Program and comes from a family of public service with both parents being colonels in the U.S. Army. Elyssia has a younger brother, Keric (14), and a beloved puppy, Ringo. Her personal motto is “strength through adversity.”
Tara Sankner is a sophomore at Chantilly High School in Northern Virginia.
Our founder and CHO (chief happiness officer), Matteo Lambert, is a 4th grader trying to help peers with cancer. Matteo believes kids should support other kids. In 2019, he has used his love for running to support Hopecam and kids with cancer by competing in 36 races in 15 states and two countries – totaling 125 miles. In every race, he wore a cape featuring a child battling cancer. By borrowing these heroes “superpowers” he rasied over $65,000. Matteo’s efforts gave about 70 sick children a social lifeline with their classmates. Matteo learned there are no age requirements for making a difference. He is the youngest person to ever give a TED Talk without notes and is currently writing a book in hopes of inspiring other youth to use their passions toward helping others.
Brandon Lambert is chairman of the Off The Charts Club, a role that allows him to both “pay it back” and “pay it forward”. At the age of 12, a 4-H program gave Brandon’s family the privilege of hosting a Japanese student on their Illinois farm. This eye-opening experience motivated him to study international business. Brandon spent the first five years of his career in Japan conducting cultural exchange. After returning to the U.S., Brandon enjoyed a decade-long career in journalism as a TV news producer. In 2014, he joined the U.S. Department of State as a foreign affairs officer. When he’s not serving as water boy for Matteo, he can be found supporting teams with Cardinal mascots.
Judy Laufman, a native New Yorker and rabid Mets fan, is thrilled to be part of the “Off the Charts” Board as she pursues her quest of running a half-marathon in all 50 states – all while undergoing her third bout of cancer. In October 2010 she completed the Marine Corps Marathon (her 3rd of 4 full marathons) while undergoing chemo for Stage 3 breast cancer. Judy has worked at the World Bank since 2007, and has traveled extensively throughout Africa. Judy lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, David. Their sons Michael and Adam (and daughter-in-law Laura) and two young grandchildren all live in Nashville. As she laces up her shoes for each training run and race, Judy’s motto is “Every Mile Is A Gift”.
Akiko Otani is the Director of Public Private Partnerships at Takeda Pharmaceuticals where she works closely with scientists to foster external partnerships to advance the science and accelerate the innovations to bring more effective medicines to patients faster. Prior to joining Takeda, Akiko had a fulfilling career spanning more than 20 years of global experience in the non-profit sector which started by launching a project in Thailand to support children suffering from chronic diseases. Each day, Akiko is reminded of their courage and perseverance to live life to its fullest. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and three children.
Tony Shivers is an education consultant who is involved in the PTA from local to national levels. He is a board member of Volunteer Fairfax and serves on numerous educational committees in Fairfax County Virginia and beyond. Tony is CEO of Shivers Consulting that provides services to nonprofit and community-based organizations, particularly in the Northern Virginia area. Tony also worked for and represented various nonprofit organizations and trade associations in the Washington, DC area, including United Way Worldwide and the Council for a Strong America. He hails from Wilmington, North Carolina and is married to Catherine, a national board certified teacher in the Fairfax County, Virginia school system. They are proud parents of two active boys, Bennett and Brayden.
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