Kathryn is my sister, friend and hero. December 23, 2009, at the young age of 35, she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. She underwent 6 months of chemotherapy, many times being hospitalized for low blood counts. She then underwent a double mastectomy and began reconstruction. She also had several rounds of radiation after her surgery. Throughout the battle, Kathryn never lost her sense of humor. Sure, she had low times, but they never lasted. She fought with a strength and grace that could only be admired.
Exactly 5 years from the original diagnosis, they found a spot on her lung. Further testing would confirm the breast cancer was back and due to the location, was inoperable. Was she angry? Absolutely! But she used that anger to fuel her fight. She had a partial hysterectomy, removing her ovaries because her cancer was estrogen fed. She also agreed to participate in a test study, in which we did not know if she was given a placebo or the trial drug. This was in addition to another medication because she was also not a candidate for chemo a second time. Almost a year later, we were blessed with the news she was in remission. I am happy to report she is still in remission. When so many would feel defeated, she faced this disease with unbelievable courage. She has inspired so many with her strength and courage. She is also a fabulous mentor to others fighting this horrible disease. She is the Assistant Director of Health Education at Western Kentucky University and has been honored at Relay for Life events, sporting events and throughout the university for her courage in telling her story and educating others affected by and at risk of the disease.
- Nominated by Meredith Fevol