Karolyn Lewandowski
Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel

Karolyn Lewandowski began volunteering for the ACPMP Research Foundation upon the organization’s formation in 2008 following her husband’s diagnosis of appendix cancer and pseudomyxoma peritonei in late 2007.  After ten years with ACPMP in a volunteer role, Karolyn became the Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel of the Foundation in 2018. 

Karolyn holds a BA in communications from Miami University and a JD from Catholic University.  Prior to taking on a formal role at ACPMP, Karolyn practiced corporate real estate law in the Washington, DC area for ten years.

Karolyn lives in Bethesda, Maryland with her husband and two children.


Lauren Smith
Development & Communications Manager

Lauren is a recent 2018 graduate from Merrimack College in Massachusetts where she received her BA in communication studies. She gained professional work experience through internships at a family and divorce law office and at Easter Seals NH. 

Lauren was diagnosed with low grade mucinous neoplasm of the appendix in May of 2017. She will continue to be scanned annually.

Having received her diagnosis early and at a young age, Lauren feels lucky and wants to continue to educate, raise funds, and promote awareness towards ACPMP for those who are still fighting or who may have courageously lost their battle to this rare disease. 

Lauren currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts.


Susan Ortega
IT Director

Susan Ortega spent over ten years in the telecommunications industry in Information Technology. She worked on the Local Number Portability project at XO Communications, and the Wireless Number Portability project at Nextel.

Ms. Ortega was diagnosed with PMP in August, 2009 and had surgery with Dr. Sugarbaker in January, 2010. Susan is fully recovered from the surgery and is in excellent health.

Susan lives in northern Virginia with her husband and their two children.