About: Board of Directors

April Samuels

April Samuels, Founder, President & Executive Director / Chair of the Board

First and foremost, I drum. I drum a lot. I also have a steep history in band management, booking, marketing, promotions, information technology and fundraising. Since 1998, I have coordinated multiple fundraising events and raised awareness for several different not-for-profit organizations.

On October 26, 2010, I was diagnosed with high grade, triple negative breast cancer. Within a few short weeks, I came up with the motto "Breast Cancer Can Stick It!" and began raising money for organizations who work to find a cure. On April 8, 2011, after a double mastectomy and four months of chemo, I was pronounced "CURED!" My goal is to help provide assistance for everyone diagnosed with breast cancer to have the opportunity for treatment, and ultimately to be CURED through awareness, early detection, funding, and finally a CURE for breast cancer once and for all...and ROCK while doing it!

Watch My Testimonial

April also serves as Chair for the Drummathon Sponsorship Subommittee, Multimedia Committee, and Social Media Committee. She additionally serves as a member on the Drummathon Committee and Drummathon Logistics Subcommittee.

Michelle Graves

Michelle Graves, Vice President

I grew up in a small town in West Texas and developed a love for music at a very early age. By the time I was 12 years old, I knew I wanted to be a drummer! I was very involved in my school music program and was the drumline captain. During my Senior year, I became involved with a band that recorded EP's in a Memphis recording studio and later recorded in Nashville with Grammy Award winning producers. I was 17 years old when I made the decision to move to Nashville, Tennessee. As I matured, my love for music grew into the business side of the entertainment industry. I found myself enjoying the concept of advertising, marketing and coordinating events rather performing at them. I then earned my business degree with a focus on marketing in the entertainment industry. Eventually, I made Dallas my home and started working for the Dallas Observer and Houston Press where I focus on marketing and sponsorship campaigns for companies.

When I met April Samuels, I immediately felt called to use my abilities to help grow and promote Breast Cancer Can Stick It! I started volunteering in 2016 to help plan Drummathon. When I look back on all the projects I've been involved in, I have never found something more fulfilling then being Director of Operations for Drummathon 2016. I have a deep connection to breast cancer as my great-grandmother, who I am named after, was a breast cancer survivor. I was very close to my great-grandmother, who was a true inspiration to not let anything in life keep you from your dreams, potential and life calling. I am deeply honored to be able to serve on the Board of Directors for Breast Cancer Can Stick It!

Norma Carpenter

Norma Carpenter, Treasurer

I was born and raised in Eufaula, OK and married my high school sweetheart, Travis, in 1993 shortly after graduation at the age of 18. I attended the University of Oklahoma and graduated from the Price College of Business with a BBA in Accounting in May 1998. I am a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). My career experience is in asset-based lending and lender finance in field examination and portfolio management.

I have been a resident of Texas since 2008 and moved to Fairview, TX in 2016. I love spending time with my husband and daughter and helping people understand their business and personal finances. In my down time I like watching movies, reading self help books, and working outside. I also love to travel.

I have a dear friend that is a two-time breast cancer survivor. While I did not know her during her survival journey, I am constantly inspired by stories and her strength as a single Mom and breast cancer survivor.

When I met April and was presented with the opportunity to volunteer for this organization, I was honored to help. April's enthusiasm and passion for her mission is unlike anyone I have ever met. I look forward to helping with the growth of this organization.

Jennifer Lampasona Tatum

Jennifer Lampasona Tatum, Secretary

I was born and raised in Boston, MA (in Revere, just outside the city) by the most fun and loving parents, along with my sister - my best friend! We have a huge Italian family, and in our childhood, music was a constant in our home and for family celebrations. Growing up in Boston, I was lucky to experience music from local bands like Aerosmith, Boston, The Cars, Donna Summer, and Dropkick Murphys. Thus, my love for rock music, which continued throughout my high school years in Phoenix, AZ!

After moving to Texas with my parents and sister, I attended the University of Texas at Dallas and graduated with a business degree in 1993, then earned an MBA in Marketing in 1996. During that time, I met my husband Tommy and we married and had two boys - the loves of my life! For over 16 years, I served as a board member on the PTA at my sons' Plano ISD schools (VP Communications and event planning were the focus). I've also volunteered in my son's baseball organizations, the school band, and the drill team, along with various community organizations, including 3 years on the board of Young Men's Service League - Wildcat Chapter. For five years, I worked as a Marketing Coordinator for a speech and occupational therapy clinic in Plano.

In 2015, our family was challenged with my breast cancer battle. I was diagnosed in May, and after a double mastectomy, I powered through six months of chemotherapy. My husband and I are blessed to have incredibly supportive families who loved us through the whole process. As I finished my treatments, I knew that I would eventually shift my energy and "drive to survive" towards helping other breast cancer warriors. I just wasn't sure exactly where to focus that energy.

On May 29, 2016, I met April and the Breast Cancer Can Stick It! crew at Starplex (BFD show). I was just five months out of chemo - my hair was barely growing back! After chatting with April for a few minutes and hearing her story, I bought a shirt, and in that moment, I knew where I wanted to focus my energy. So, I started reading up on the foundation and following on social media. A nonprofit that combined rock music with the passion for fighting breast cancer? SIGN. ME. UP. I attended some fundraising events over the next few months. Then in 2017, I served as a volunteer for the first time at Drummathon. I loved everything about that day, and I realized I wanted to be part of the team. I became an office volunteer, and since 2019 I have served on the Drummathon Committee. I often talk about the blessings that resulted from my breast cancer journey, and meeting April is a big one!

It is an incredible honor to be asked to serve on the board of this foundation, and I am eager to continue working on its mission...to STICK IT to breast cancer!

Jennifer also is the Chair of the Drummathon Auction Subcommittee and serves on the Drummathon Committee.

Debra Gloria

Debra Gloria, Director / Visual Creator

I am a Dallas-based advertising, commercial, and therapeutic photographer and videographer. Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, my love of photography became evident when I chose my elective classes in college. Photography quickly became the only subject I was interested in studying. I began my photography career in Dallas in 1988. I then traveled and shot photography in New York then came back to Dallas. I have been a freelance photographer for 28 years.

My background in photography ranges from shooting for catalogs, on location, individuals and Fortune 500 companies. Not to mention all of the work that I do for charitable causes that are close to my heart. The strongest calling for me has been my Therapeutic Photography work.

My first involvement with BCCSI was when I proposed to start a photo campaign which communicates a quiet visual protest to "stick it" to breast cancer (see my photo). In the future, my dream is that the photographs go viral to increase the awareness of finding a cure.

I've known April before she had cancer and began photographing her through her battle along with many other friends and strangers with cancer and other diseases. I lost friends very close to me to cancer. In July of 2015, my sister called and told me she was diagnosed with cancer, and I felt the earth stand still for the first time in my life. I watched cancer kill her in eight months. I was her caretaker for the last few months of her life and it has forever changed who I am today. April knew my sister, and she adored April. April was there the last week of my sisters life as I watched her pray over her. Now, the battle to help to find a cure is personal... The choice to work with April is an easy choice. In this lifetime we will find a cure, because the firery pink-haired drummer won't stop until it does!

Lori Peters

Lori Peters, Director

I got my first drum kit at age five. As a student, I was involved in every possible music program available: concert/symphonic band, orchestra, jazz/pep band, solo ensemble, and battle of the bands (my fav of course). I played in a few local bands with friends and played on the worship team at my church for many years. Eventually, I attended Columbia College Chicago with a focus on studio recording. Around the same time, I was in a band which featured my close friend growing up, Korey Cooper. Korey was the main singer/songwriter. Long story short, I eventually auditioned for Korey's band Skillet in 1999. I toured with the band for eight years and recorded four full length albums (Ardent Records, Lava/Atlantic Records). Those years on the road doing what I love were some of the happiest years of my life. Panheads are true hardcore fans!

In 2009 I was a drum clinician at a teen music camp in Nashville where I first met Michelle Graves. Ten years later I came across a social media post where she was pictured behind a bright pink and black drum kit that caught my eye immediately. As I read further, I discovered her involvement with Breast Cancer Can Stick It! Foundation, Inc. I couldn't believe my eyes and knew I had to call her.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. As I sat in a frump on my couch, recovering from surgery, I explained my situation to Michelle. She immediately put me in touch with April Samuels. Thankfully, my breast cancer was caught early at age 45. With only one previous healthy mammogram to compare with I was very thankful I had been screened prior to my diagnosis. When faced with life altering decisions, it's essential to gather as much data as possible. Images are an important piece! My doctor explained my options. The best decision for me was to have a unilateral mastectomy. I planned to have reconstructive surgery, but my body had other ideas. The surgical wound was not healing properly. I unexpectedly needed 20 hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments over a two week period. Recovering from surgery was one of the hardest physical conditions I've ever had to endure, but it was worth it. My mindset was "this is my job right now". The four hour per day treatments brought the highest level of oxygen to the wound to promote fast healing. This really scared me because with hyperbaric chambers there is a risk of hearing damage. I later had a second surgery to remove the tissue expander, and haven't thought twice about reconstruction again. All surgeries and treatments went well overall, and I am cancer free! My sister, Lisa (RN and cancer survivor) said, "There's never a straight line through cancer". I'm not sure what I would have done without my sister by my side as we had just lost our Mom in 2017 to cancer and our maternal grandmother years before that (also to cancer).

April's influence has changed my approach and thinking about how I express my breast cancer journey. She and I pretty much had an instant, effortless friendship. "We're survivor sisters now", she said. Since 2019, April has invited me to Drummathon as a celebrity guest to help raise funds and awareness. This annual event is the highlight of my year! April and the volunteers make this event happen at the highest level and it's been my "happy place" since my breast cancer recovery.

I feel encouraged and honored to be selected to serve on this board with such dedicated, talented, and humble individuals. The volunteers I've met since 2019 have become good friends, and welcomed me in like family since day one. I'm grateful for my career in music, experience, and accomplishments. I feel Breast Cancer Can Stick It! has equipped me to continue writing a new chapter. It's like joining a band, and I'm ready to rock.

Mary Riley

Mary Riley, Director / Co-Volunteer Coordinator

It seems like everyone has a dream of making a difference in the world in some way, but there aren't many people who take action on this dream. April didn't stand around waiting for this to happen; she MADE it happen. She has been a constant inspiration since the day I met her, and I am honored to be a part of that journey with her. Since becoming a volunteer for Breast Cancer Can Stick It! in 2013, I have worn many hats and am excited about my newest role as co-volunteer coordinator. With an associates in Business Administration, I also do a lot of administrative work behind the scenes.

When not working on Breast Cancer Can Stick It!, I also play volleyball, kickbox, volunteer at North Texas Cat Rescue (NTCR) and In-Sync Exotics. In Spring of 2021, I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelors in Wildlife and Conservation Science at Texas A&M Commerce, and am currently continuing my studies there working towards my Masters in Biological Science.

Sherah Yoder

Sherah Yoder, Director

I was born and raised in Texas and moved to Dallas in 1995. I have always been extremely passionate about volunteering and helping people. In 2001, I began volunteering and eventually became a member of the Board of a non-profit called Share the Blessings. STB helped to facilitate participation / volunteering in established local charities through the collection of food, toys and monetary donations. I remained on the Board until we were blessed to become pregnant with our now, 12 year old twin girls, Katlyn and Kimber.

I also met my now husband, Webb in 1995 when I moved to Dallas. He introduced me to April shortly after we met, while she was managing and playing in a band called Frognot (and I'm sure doing various other things!). Since that time, we lost my mother-in-Law to cancer in 2009. We were also there when April fought her incredible battle, alongside SO many other friends that have either won or lost the battle. April is now known as the amazing drummer with pink hair, who has survived triple negative breast cancer. She has done so much good for the community! So many people are affected by this terrible disease - we must find a cure NOW!

For the past five years, I've been volunteering for the American Cancer Society by helping to coordinate a team from across the country and raising funds myself to rappel down a 38-story building in Jersey City, NJ. One year, I even took April's drum sticks up to the top of the building for an amazing photo opportunity with the New York City skyline in the background. Our team has collectively raised over $500,000 for ACS since its formation in 2013.

I have worked for Merrill Private Wealth Management at the Crescent for 23 years. A couple years ago I decided I wanted to add to my knowledge base to assist my team and our clients. I love volunteering and working with non-profits, so I looked for a designation that would benefit my business and the charity work I do. I obtained the CAP designation or Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy in 2017. Now I look forward to putting my "CAP" skills to work and helping to raise awareness and money for breast cancer.

I am honored to be asked by April and team to join the Board of Directors and look forward to helping her 'Stick it to Breast Cancer' to raise funds AND awareness! April is an amazing and inspirational woman. Together the Breast Cancer Can Stick It! Team CAN make things happen!

Sherah also serves as the Chair of the Partner Programs Fundraising Committee.

Help The Cause

Looking for ways to help us? It's easy ....

Donate Now
Kroger Community Rewards
eBay for Charity