Meet Our Team

Shannon Zisa

Executive Director

• Where are you from and where do you reside now?
I was born in Dunedin, FL and currently reside in Altamonte Springs, FL.

• Do you have children? If yes, what are their names?
Yes, I have a little girl named Adalyn. She resides in Heaven.

• What is your current career?
Founder/Executive Director of Acts For Adalyn Foundation

What was the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?
Survive the loss of my daughter, Adalyn, when she was 17 months old.

• What was the happiest day of your life?
New Year's Day 2018! On that morning at 5:15, I laid eyes on the little girl who made me a Mommy. She was just perfect and my heart exploded with love like I had never known before. Adalyn Nicole Zisa was born weighing 7 lbs 10 oz and she was 19.5" long.

• How did you become involved with Acts For Adalyn?
I founded Acts for Adalyn Foundation after I lost both my daughter and (essentially) my husband/Adalyn's Daddy on the same night. Adalyn's Daddy suffered a catastrophic brain injury to his left frontal lobe. Losing your child without having the support of your spouse is absolutely heart wrenching. I longed for another mother to tell me that she understood my pain and to tell me how I was going to survive this soul consuming pain. It was then that I discovered that there wasn't much help for toddler loss mothers and I made the decision that there needed to be a place for toddler loss mothers to turn to for help in their darkest hour.

• What do you hope to accomplish by being part of the Acts For Adalyn Team?
My goal is to create a living legacy for my daughter. To remind the world that she was here and that her life held so much meaning. I want to be able to help other toddler loss mothers face the worst time in any mother's life, to be the mother that understands their pain, and to be able to provide some comfort to them as they embark on their own journey through child loss. It is a grief like no other in this world.

Cara Berry

Support Services Director

• Where are you from and where do you reside now?

I am originally from Long Island, NY, but currently reside in Orlando, FL

• Do you have children? If yes, what are their names?

I have two kids, Liam and Cate. They are my world.

• What is your current career?

I am a Registered Nurse. I truly believe that I am lucky enough to have the greatest profession.

• What was the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?

The hardest thing I have ever had to do is survive the loss of my son, Liam. Grief is so hard, losing a child is a pain like no other.  

• What was the happiest day of your life?

It's a tie for the happiest days of my life, it's the days that both my sweet babies were born. 

• How did you become involved with Acts For Adalyn? 

I am lucky enough to call Adalyn's Mom, Shannon a friend. We both lost our toddlers just two months apart and have had each other to lean on. We wanted to create something that would help out others who experience the same type of loss while honoring our babies. When Shannon started Acts For Adalyn I just knew it was what other families needed and was eager to jump in. 

• What do you hope to accomplish by being part of the Acts For Adalyn Team?

I hope that with Acts For Adalyn that we are able to help those experiencing the most unthinkable pain, the loss of their child. My hope is that others are able to find some comfort and a safe place during the hardest time of their lives through the Acts inspired by Adalyn's legacy. 

Kathy Kenahan

Case Management Director

• Where are you from and where do you reside now?

I was born in Lancaster, PA but have resided in Florida since 1955. Currently I live in New Smyrna Beach. 

• Do you have children? If yes, what are their names?

I have four children: Sooni Kunkle; Shannon Zisa, Ryan Kenahan, and Jonathan Kenahan. 

• What is your current career?

Prior to retirement in 2018, I was employed by the Volusia County School Board. 

• What was the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?

Undoubtedly the hardest things I’ve ever done was say goodbye to our oldest daughter after fighting a long battle with cancer.  And being with our youngest daughters little girl, our youngest granddaughter, waiting for the Medical Examiner to come. It was a difficult time but a privilege to have been chosen to be with her. 

• What was the happiest day of your life?

The happiest day for me was when I became a mom for the first time. 

• How did you become involved with Acts For Adalyn? 

I am Adalyn’s proud Granny and Shannon's Mom. When Shannon asked me if I wanted to be a part of Acts For Adalyn it was an absolute yes! Adalyn had the sweetest heart....she loved everyone. 

• What do you hope to accomplish by being part of the Acts For Adalyn Team?

There is no more difficult time than losing a child. My hope for being part of Acts For Adalyn is to able to share kindness and love during a time when people need it the most. To be able to assure them that they are not alone in their time of what seems like endless grief and unimaginable pain. 

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Altamonte Springs, FL

actsforadalyn@outlook.com

(407) 228-3003

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ACTS FOR ADALYN FOUNDATION, INC. IS A 501(C)(3) NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION.

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