Shelly Ferrone

Inspired to volunteer after hearing a lung health presentation by a staff at her Orlando Kiwanis Club, Shelly Ferrone is currently serving the American Lung Association in Central Florida as a board member on the Lung Cancer Leadership Council. Shelly’s volunteer leadership began a few years ago, but her interest in lung health goes back 12 years ago when she was diagnosed with lung cancer and had one of her lungs removed.

Shelly brings extensive experience as a successful financial planner with UBS, former advocacy volunteer with the American Cancer Society, and member of many other local civic and trade organizations. In addition to volunteering with several different organizations, she has found unique ways to bring her multiple activities together.

Shelly’s current passion with the American Lung Association is in building and expanding the area’s lung cancer support group. She enjoys being able to share her experiences in the hope that it might help others going through the experience of a lung cancer diagnosis in some positive way. The American Lung Association of the Southeast would like to build a model that could be followed by other Lung Associations. According to Shelly, “If I had a support group like this when I had lung cancer, life would have been different; better.”

Shelly attends the monthly support group meeting, listening and sharing. Speaking of one recent example where a mother and daughter attended, “I know we made a difference in her life and her daughters”. Moving forward, Shelly believes we need more focus in spreading the word about the need and availability for support groups. “I’d like to see us interacting and promoting through more pulmonologists and oncologists”, says Ferrone. “We need more volunteers speaking with local physicians in an effort to spread the word more effectively.”

Shelly has taken on an additional role by serving as a representative to the newly formed National Lung Cancer Advisory Council. Along with fellow Central Florida board members Kathleen Skambis and Dr. Alan Johnston, the group meets by phone monthly to help shape lung cancer policy for the American Lung Association nationally.

Shelly has been able to leverage multiple personal and professional relationships to help the ALA in new ways. From accessing never before available grant funds from two unique organizations, to getting access to speak to multiple civic and professional groups, she is constantly on the hunt for ways to further the association’s mission. According to Eric Gray, Executive Director for the Central Florida area, “She has helped us build relationships with local physicians and business owners in which we wouldn’t have access to without her guidance. She has also been instrumental in guiding us through her own life experiences when it comes to local policy initiatives relating to tobacco control.”

Shelly is currently a leader with the Central Florida lung cancer council, the Fight for Air Climb Committee and the National Lung Cancer Advisory Group.