Help us unmask the causes of rare and unusual cancer.

Most of us are familiar with high profile efforts to fight "mainstream" cancers. But too many of our friends and loved ones are affected by rare and unusual cancers that most of us had never heard of until our friend got it.  Worse still, there are hardly any funds available for research to fight these cancers.  We want to change that, and we are asking for your help.

If you have any questions for the P Strong Fund, please contact us using the form provided.

We look forward to your support.

Board of Directors, P Strong Fund



Sue Rucho has been in healthcare for over 30 years and held both clinical and administrative positions.

Sue received a Diploma in Nursing from Worcester Hahnemann Hospital School of Nursing in Worcester, MA, a Bachelor Degree in Nursing and a Master in Business Administration from Queens University in Charlotte and a Master in Nursing Science from the University of North Carolina Charlotte.

Sue is a nurse practitioner with the Gastrointestinal Surgical Oncology group at the Levine Cancer Institute.

She is married with two wonderful and successful sons, Adam, 35 and Zach, 29. 

Sue is committed to forwarding research for rare and unusual cancers to provide patients viable treatment options and some day a cure.

VP of Finance


Deborah Russo and her husband Mark have three children and live in South Charlotte.  Nick is a sophomore at UNC Chapel Hill, Samantha is a Junior at Charlotte Catholic High School and Ella is in 3rd grade at St. Gabriel Elementary school.   Deborah and Pattie have been friends since being introduced to each other in 2006.


Medical Research Advisor

Reza Nazemzadeh, MD joined the PStrong Board in 2015. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and the University of Texas at Houston Medical School. He is Board Certified in Hematology/Oncology and practices medicine at Carolinas HealthCare System.

VP of Programs and Events


Amy Strasser has been married to Jeff for 12 years and is a stay at home mom to Zachary (11), Shayna (9) and Lindsay (6).  She is a graduate of the University of Florida, and moved to Charlotte in 1999 to earn her Masters in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at UNCC.    She loves a good party, she loves Pattie, and she loves candy.

What is PStrong?

In April 2013, Pattie Iannitti was diagnosed with Stage 4 Appendicial  Adenocarcinoma. In the earliest days of her illness, Pattie’s husband, Dave developed the P Strong logo that emerged in the wake of the Boston Marathon Bombing- much like the city’s response to a terrifying and tragic event-a symbol of Pattie’s strength. The logo became a bracelet, a charm necklace, a healing mantra, and a rallying cry to do something more.

Research into rare cancers is so underfunded, that Pattie was treated with a chemotherapy used to target a different type of cancer. Pattie’s individual need as well as the needs of others like her facing this life threatening disease and our determination to bring rare and unusual cancers out of the shadows drove the launch of the P Strong Fund.

Your Support of the P Strong Fund of the Carolinas Healthcare Foundation will fund research to develop better treatments and improve the outcomes for rare and unusual cancers. More importantly, your support will provide hope to people like Pattie who are diagnosed with these vicious diseases.

Alone, we are ordinary people. Together, we will do something extraordinary. Together, we are P Strong.