Blount native helping lead nonprofit

Ashleigh Timmerman (far right) with Angela Karen, Walter Brown, and Laura Crandall Brown

Ashleigh Timmerman (far right) with Angela Karen, Walter Brown, and Laura Crandall Brown

Laura Crandall Brown passed away more than a year ago – Dec. 14, 2009, to be exact – from ovarian cancer.

She left behind her husband Walter Brown, her father Jim Crandall, her mother Cecilia Crandall, sister Emma Crandall, and many close friends.

Laura may be gone but her legacy continues in the form of the Laura Crandall Brown Ovarian Cancer Foundation. This nonprofit is fighting a disease that will affect 1 in every 69 women. A disease that was diagnosed in more than 21,000 women last year and proved fatal to 14,000.

Laura’s father and husband serve as president and vice president, respectively, of the organization’s board of directors. The newest member of the board has a Blount County connection.

Ashleigh Timmerman, a Blountsville native and 2001 graduate of J.B. Pennington High School, was named as the organization’s executive director of foundation events on Oct. 7.

Timmerman, who continues to work as a real estate agent for Keller Williams, knew Laura for 1.5 years and has taken the cancer fight to heart.

“We need to have an early detection test for ovarian cancer,” she said. “When caught early, this (cancer) is very treatable with around a 90-percent survival rate.

“Women need to pay attention to their own bodies and know the signs and symptoms of this disease.”

Through December of this year, the organization has raised more than $120,000.

On Dec. 15, the organization received the first of its grant proposals and it is expected that the first grant will be issued in January. The focus of all grants will be the development of early detection diagnostics for ovarian cancer.

For more information about ovarian cancer research or the Laura Crandall Brown Ovarian Cancer Foundation, visit