Executive Director

Joy Brewster Rusthoven - Executive Director

When her father was diagnosed with cancer weeks after his 52nd birthday, Joy Rusthoven became his sole caregiver, joining him in a 14-month battle against a disease—and a system—that demanded countless seemingly-impossible decisions.

Like so many caregivers, she wanted to do everything in her power to make sure her father was receiving the best care regardless of her limited knowledge in navigating such a convoluted system. At a pivotal time in their journey, a close friend introduced her to Matt Ellefson, who had created SURVIVEiT to help people facing the exact same challenges.

After losing her father, the bittersweet, complicated and haunting experience fueled her passion to do her part in making sure others didn’t experience cancer the way she and her beloved father did.

Hired as the organization’s Director of Operations and User Engagement in 2017, Joy went on to succeed Ellefson as Executive Director at the end of 2018. “It’s going to take boldness, experience, compassion and focus to make the impact we want to make, and Joy has all of those things," Ellefson stated in the press release announcing the appointment.

Joy is currently harnessing those qualities in her efforts to run the organization, focusing specifically on the development of a new, digital tool that gives patients and caregivers the peace of mind, sense of control, and access to better care that she longed for her during her journey.

In her spare time, she can be found enjoying the great outdoors of Colorado with her husband and their dogs, Maggie and Otis, traveling, and cooking.