Through the Foundation, the Zangases honor the memory of their son while supporting important research into curing lung cancer so one day parents and families like their own will not suffer the tragedy of losing a loved one too early.
From an early modest start, the Foundation has expanded and to date has contributed more than $275,000 to fund lung cancer research. The main fund-raiser is the annual 5K Run/1K Walk that the Foundation co-sponsors in the fall with Archangel Michael Church of Port Washington, where the Zangases are active members.
Tom Zangas, a non-smoker, lost his heroic two-year battle with lung cancer succumbing to the disease on March 10, 2011. Born to a loving family in New York City in 1970, Tom led a happy and wholesome childhood, serving as both an Altar Boy at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church of Flushing and a Boy Scout.
He received a B.A. Summa Cum Laude from Hofstra University where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, a Master of Social Work from New York University and a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. He then obtained a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Gallaudet, specializing in working with the deaf community.
Tom managed to incorporate his fluency in both American Sign Language and Spanish into his profession. He served as a school psychologist at St. Joseph’s School for the Deaf as well as PS 47 ASL & English Lower School in New York City. He also worked part time as a therapist at the Village Care Treatment Center, primarily counseling Spanish speaking patients. He partnered with two colleagues offering psychological assessment and clinical therapy services through their private practice in Midtown Manhattan.
Tom led a very full and active life. He participated in many triathlons and bike-a-thons and also ran several marathons, including NYC, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Disney World, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia.
Tom donated generously to charities and victims of natural disasters. He especially was able to donate services based on his knowledge of ASL. He served as a volunteer to provide sign language interpretation during Patriarch Bartholomew’s Madison Square Garden visit in 1997. Additionally, he offered sign language in the interpretation services at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity on multiple occasions during their Disability Outreach Sunday events.
Tom will always be remembered for his loving, warm, compassionate and generous personality. To continue Tom’s good works, the Tom Zangas Memorial Lung Cancer Foundation was created to make a difference in the fight against lung cancer. The funds raised are dedicated to increasing awareness, prevention and research.
The Foundation honors the memory of Tom Zangas, a triathlete and marathoner who lived his life to improve the life of others