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Angie Risso is a journey-level carpenter and member of Local 339. After high school, she joined the Army National Guard and worked as a truck driver for 18 years. When she was laid off unexpectedly, she explored the Building Pathways program and she jumped at the opportunity to pursue a career in the building trades. She naturally leaned towards carpentry, and at the age at 35, Risso signed up and was accepted as an apprentice in the Carpenters union.
It didn’t take long for Risso to become active in the union and was dedicated to mentoring others on and off the jobsite. She helped start the Northeast Massachusetts Sisters in the Brotherhood chapter with fellow sisters Local 339 EBoard member, Laurie Cahalane-Petchar and NNE Regional Manager, Kim Hokanson.
“One of my first jobs as an apprentice was working at Winchester High School installing lockers, and I found that pretty awesome. I then went on to work for Lymo Construction doing panels in Wakefield and it was pretty non-stop after that working for different contractors on several different jobs. I worked steadily up until last March when my health started to deteriorate,” said Risso.
Unfortunately, last spring, Angie was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer called Leiomyosarcoma and is currently undergoing radiation and chemotherapy. Risso says her union health insurance has been a blessing but being out of work for months has made things financially difficult.
“I’m so thankful for my benefits and the donations made by the Local, and by my Brothers and Sisters to the GoFundMe to help with additional expenses and to help me keep my home while I’m out of work.”
Angie says it’s been a tough year but one that’s made her realize how important her union and Brothers and Sisters are to her.
“I always knew I loved being in the Carpenters union but since I got sick, the financial and emotional support I’ve received from my union family has been incredible. Just today, Kevin Kelley [Local 339 Council Representative], called me to check in and see how I was doing. It really is the best organization you can be part of, and I’m so honored to be part of it.”
We wish Angie the very best in her fight against cancer and thank her for sharing her story. For more information on ways to offer support, please visit https://gofund.me/3d3040a5