About Sam’s Fans
Samantha Jane McCarthy was born March 15, 1998.
When Sam was in the first grade she was diagnosed with Fanconi Anemia. We knew that one day Sam would have to receive a (hopefully) life saving bone marrow transplant. That day came in August, 2008. Sam spent a lot of the next 14 months in and out of the hospital and though she fought to the very end she passed away on October 15, 2009. For the short time that Sam was with us we learned lots of things. Sam taught us how to live and to love and to appreciate the time that we are given.
Sam had an incredibly huge heart. She was always thinking of others and was the kindest, caring young person we have known. She loved her brothers and family more than anything but she was also that way with complete strangers.
To honor Sam’s life and her legacy we have started Sam’s Fans as a way to give back and continue the work and life that Sam would have led. She loved to make people happy and to share with others. One of the things Sam loved was music. During the long and arduous days in the hospital the one thing that brought her joy and peace was music.
With Sam’s Fans we plan to bring more music therapy to hospitals and some peace to the long days in the hospitals.
Meet the Board
As the Founder and Executive Director of Sam’s Fans I have the honor of being Sam’s mom. March 15, 1998 was one of the best days of my entire life when Sam made me a mom for the first time. She was one challenging baby girl that grew up to be an amazing young lady. Diagnosed with a rare disease at the age of seven, Sam made it her mission to make the most of her situation and do whatever she could to help kids like her. Research was incredibly important and so was giving back and she had the biggest heart of any young person I have known. October 15, 2009 was the worst day of my life when Sam passed away. It has been our mission as a family and me as her mom to continue to live the life Sam would have lived and do the things she was passionate about. Each day we had with her was a gift and while she left us much much too soon it is important to move forward with her in our life each day. The daily work we do at Sam’s Fans gives us the change to provide happiness and comfort to kids like her and affords us the opportunity to keep her memory alive and create her lifelong legacy.
Please read on to meet the rest of the people who help make Sam’s Fans possible, our Executive Board:
Mandy McGlone is a Managing Partner with Mighty Crow Media, LLC. Mandy is a Project Manager and Project Director with over 20 years of tenure in the human services field. Mandy and Nikki have been best friends for over 30 years, and have been together through the brightest and darkest days in each other’s lives. When Mandy said goodbye to Sam, she made a promise that she would take good care of Nikki. When Nikki decided that she wanted to honor Sam’s legacy and love of music by starting a nonprofit, there was no question that Mandy would play an integral part in helping Nikki to get things underway. Years later, Mandy serves on the Board of Directors, and continues to help Nikki run the day to day operations of Sam’s Fans.
Allie Sabo has called Columbus home since 2003 by way of her hometown of Tulsa, OK and after living in Chicago for several years. She is the Director of U.S. Strategic Communications for CGI, a global IT consulting firm. Allie has a passion for connecting with others over social media and became the Director of Social Media for Sam’s Fans in 2016. Nikki and Allie developed a close friendship after meeting through Allie’s husband Joe, who attended high school with Nikki. Allie first became involved in Sam’s Fans by running in the 5K. She has since helped plan the first Thread of Hope and assisted with other Sam’s Fans initiatives. Allie and Joe have a dog, Rudy Ray, who is the love of their lives.
Owner, THREAD Boutique – A Columbus native, Miranda spent years in retail at both big and small businesses. As her career was blossoming, her family began to blossom as well. She made the choice to stay at home with her husband and three daughters, but her spark for the worlds of retail and fashion never diminished. Miranda jumped back in with both feet, opening THREAD on Grandview in 2012. The store itself reflects both the heart and mission of THREAD: to build community through the shared love and interest in fashion, while remaining accessible and accommodating.
Anyone who knows Miranda will tell you that you may start off as a potential customer but you will no doubt become a fan, a friend, and a cheerleader for her passion. That passion goes to her very core. Meeting at their children’s school, Miranda and Nikki quickly became close friends. Although Miranda never knew Sam, her passion for Sam’s Fans runs fierce. As Miranda was laying the plans to first launch THREAD, she informed Nikki that when the business “made it” she intended to host a fundraiser for Sam’s Fans. And she meant it: the inaugural A THREAD of Hope fashion and music presentation fundraiser was held in October, 2015.
As President of the The Success Group, Dan McCarthy is responsible for the day-to-day business operations of one of Columbus’ premiere government relations firms. While he has an extensive background in health care issues, Dan serves a broad array of clients in transportation, telecommunications and other fields. Dan is the proud father of Sam and her brothers Finn, Joe and Jack. Dan also has the good fortune to be Nikki’s husband! In Dan’s words music and art therapy have the ability to bring out beauty and joy to the sterile walls of hospital rooms where all that seems is important are numbers and information.
Joe Feidner is Samantha’s grandfather. Joe is a retired from building two successful construction businesses in Florida and Ohio and currently serves on the Sam’s Fans board as well as Dynamic South, Inc. Joe is a licensed boat captain and enjoys fishing, traveling and hanging out with his five grandchildren.
If you are a Sam’s Fan and want to know to how help us or have a great idea that you want to share please contact us!