Our Story

keaton and jarryd

The Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation (NNCCF) has provided help, hope, and courage to local families affected by childhood cancer since 2000. The foundation was named in 2009 after two foundations in Reno joined forces and legally merged. Angel Kiss was founded in 2000, in memory of a five-year-old boy named Jarryd who passed away from leukemia, and the Keaton Raphael Memorial, Reno office, was founded in 2004 in memory of a five-year-old boy named Keaton who passed away from neuroblastoma. Despite their losses, these two families gave hope to others battling childhood cancer.

NNCCF continues to provide hope for local children and their families through financial and emotional assistance. There are only a few requirements for families to receive assistance from NNCCF – the child is under the age of 26, has a confirmed cancer diagnosis, and is a resident of northern Nevada. All programs and services are provided at no cost to the families, and there is not an income requirement to receive services.

Our Mission

It is our mission to enhance the quality of life for children with cancer and their families by providing financial assistance and compassionate support programs, all while advocating for increased research funds and raising public awareness.


Our Goals

  1. Alleviate the financial burden and emotional strain that comes with childhood cancer.
  2. Enhance and expand public awareness of childhood cancer.
  3. Promote research to find a cure.
  4. Be proactive in assisting families throughout the treatment journey by connecting them with other local, regional, and national resources.




Shirley Folkins-Roberts

  • Position: Executive Director

Shirley has been a dedicated advocate for children with cancer since 2003. After knowing a family personally impacted by childhood cancer, she became one of the co-founders of NNCCF and served on the Board of Directors for 15 years. As an advocate for the organization, she led the creation of a bill to submit to the Nevada State Legislature which sought money for childhood cancer and submitted testimony before the committee, resulting in $60,000 in funding in the 2007 session. During the formation of the organization, Shirley provided oversight of daily operations, establishment and management of operating budgets, and development and implementation of fundraising events annually. Shirley has led teams of Nevada families to Washington D.C. to advocate for childhood cancer research funds, is a member of the Rotary Club of Reno, the Board of Directors for REMSA, and is the Nevada Team Leader and Childhood Cancer Advocate for CureSearch. As Executive Director, Shirley oversees direct family assistance, programs and services, events and day to day operations of the organization.

Shirley earned her Juris Doctor from the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific and her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Davis. Shirley became a member of the California Bar in 1993 and the Nevada Bar in 2010 and has practiced with private firms in both states.

Lizzie Dalton

  • Position: Director of Grants

Born and raised in Reno, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Dalton graduated from Galena High School and received her B.S. degree in conservation biology from the University of Nevada, Reno. Before working at NNCCF, Lizzie was the executive director at the Keaton Raphael Memorial. Here she served as a childhood cancer advocate, focusing on family assistance and fundraising for support and research. In 2012, Lizzie was recognized as the University of Nevada’s Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year for her dedication and efforts in the fight against childhood cancer.

Lizzie lives in Reno with her husband, Patrick, their two children and their dog.  When not working, Lizzie loves skiing, backpacking, road trips, the beach and spending time with friends and family.

As the grant specialist at NNCCF, Lizzie is responsible for conducting the full range of activities required to research, prepare, submit, and manage grant proposals to private and corporate foundations.

Why I started working at NNCCF:

I was ready for something new, something unique and something that would make a positive difference on the lives of local families. I was born in Reno, love this community and want to make it a better place to live.

About me:

When I was a kid, I was pretty sure I was going to be the first female Major League baseball player or Jane Goodall’s protégé.

Ask me about:

Childhood cancer support services, raising twins, backpacking, car camping and info about skiing around Lake Tahoe.

What I think is amazing:

Nature and the human body.

Something quirky about me:

I can list all 50 US states in alphabetical order. Thank you Mr. Mobley my 5th grade teacher!

My role model:

My awesome mom! She is a fun-loving, beautiful and strong woman who has always been there for my family and me. She has taught me the importance of family, friends, independence, adventure, education, helping others and so much more.

My favorite quote:

“Live Happy” – Kristin Katich Sumbot

Marketing Director

Lindsey Tromerhauser

  • Position: Director of Marketing

Lindsey attended THE University of Nevada and earned a B.A. in Journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism. She equips the NNCCF team with an expertise in branding, graphic design, communications and marketing. Lindsey is current President Elect on the Reno-Tahoe American Marketing Association Board of Directors, she holds a design chair for the PRSA Sierra Nevada Silver Spikes Awards, and was a member of the Reno Tahoe Young Professionals Network. In her free time she enjoys reading, keeping her black Labrador entertained, and hosting “game night” for family and friends. As the Director of Marketing, she builds and maintains close relationships with community members, donors, and media, and helps develop and effectively communicate NNCCF’s branding.

Why I started working at NNCCF:

 The foundation impacts the lives of so many children in northern Nevada, and the hope and support NNCCF provides is infectious. When I was given the opportunity to join the NNCCF team, I didn’t hesitate. I couldn’t wait to offer my skill set and help the foundation connect with families, grow donor relations and improve the lives of children battling cancer.

About me:

It is fairly simple to make me happy, I just need three things: loving company, yummy food and a good time.

Ask me about:

My favorite food, then tell me yours, and then let’s go eat it!

What I think is amazing:

It is such a small world. Every day I am blown away with how connected we can be and how large distances can even feel small.

Something quirky about me:

I can hold a conversation with a brick wall – metaphorically speaking. I am very talkative and genuinely believe it’s how I process things. Also, my laugh is borderline witch-cackle.

My Role Model:

My parents. They are loving, caring and imperfect. My parents helped make me the person I am today.

My Favorite Quote:

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Jessica Pace

  • Position: Director of Finance

Briley Brewer

  • Position: Events Coordinator

Briley was born and raised in Washington State, and moved to the Biggest Little City in 2013. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Nevada, Reno, and has since dedicated her time and talent in the community to local nonprofits. As the Events Coordinator, she specializes in NNCCF’s signature, community partner, and family events. You will find Briley out in the community representing NNCCF and she may be the first person you’ll meet after walking through our office door.

Why I started working at NNCCF:

The opportunity I was given to work for such an amazing organization will be one I will be grateful for my entire life.

About me:

I can talk about my dog and traveling for hours. I love being outside and enjoying everything Reno has to offer.

Ask me about:


What I think is amazing:

How many beautiful places there are in this world.

Something quirky about me:

I do not like green olives. But I'll eat the green olive in a Bloody Mary to try and train my tastebuds to like them.

My Role Model:

Hands down my parents

My Favorite Quote:

“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” – Jennifer Lee.

Alicia Rasmussen

  • Position: Community Engagement Coordinator

Joan Carpenter

  • Position: Volunteer Extraordinaire

Joan and her twin sister were born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a BA in education with a Major in Physical Education and minor in Art. She continued at UNR earning a MEd in Secondary Education and an MA in Counseling and Guidance. Joan taught a year at Herlong High School in California
and taught 35 years at Procter R. Hug High School, retiring in 2006.

Joan retired from teaching and began volunteering with NNCCF. Though she's technically "not on the payroll" we consider her staff. At NNCCF, Joan inputs all donor transactions into our database, produces donor receipts and thank yous and helps at events when she can. She is a staple to our team and we don't know what we'd do without her!

Why I started volunteering (working) at NNCCF:

After a couple years of retirement I realized I missed having a routine, helping others, and just being in a social atmosphere. I was lucky when a friend of mine suggested I apply to volunteer at NNCCF. Truly, my lucky day. In my eight years, NNCCF has more than doubled in staff and office space. I am the oldest member of the staff but the others make me feel young. What a warm, caring, and generous group I get to be a part of.

About me:

When I'm not at NNCCF you can find me painting with my Botanical Buddies, making snuggle buddies for care packages, or trying to keep up with our grandson. I am a short, little tenacious person. If there is a problem or something is broken I won’t stop until I solve or fix it.
Helping others is rewarding to me.

Ask me about:

What an older person can add or offer to a group of young professionals.

What is amazing to me:

When our children, clients, come to the office almost always smiling, and laughing and my knowing what they have or will be going through in treatment.

Something quirky about me:

I like to vacuum. Yes, it gives me time to exercise, think, and accomplish something all at once.

My role model:

My parents.

My favorite quote:

"A friend is a gift you give yourself." - Robert Louis Stevenson

See all Staff Members


Our volunteers are the heart of every fundraising event and we are lucky to have such passionate volunteers helping us make a difference for local children battling cancer. Our volunteer program is growing and actively changing! Even if you applied in the past, we encourage you to fill out our new 2019 application.
Volunteer Application

Board of Directors

Meet our Board of Directors

Interested in joining the NNCCF Board? Email Shirley@nvchildrenscancer.org

Why Kites?

NNCCF uses kites to serve as a symbol of hope and childhood innocence.

Kites help signify that children will persevere through cancer, like a kite against strong winds, with joy, innocence, and imagination.

 Annual Report

NNCCF KidsCheck out our annual report. Learn about our 2018 accomplishments and the donors who made them possible.

2018 Annual Report

2017 Annual Report

NNCCF GuideStar Profile

Please contact us to request our recent 990