Dear Breast Cancer Community,
We are deeply saddened by the loss of a fierce advocate, compassionate leader and member of our Board of Directors, Kat Werner. Kat died suddenly Sunday, September 23, as the result of a blood clot, about one week after giving birth to her fourth child. She was 37 years old.
Kat fulfilled so many roles in breast cancer advocacy, support and outreach. YSC and the community at large have suffered a tremendous loss. Kat’s intelligent approach to problems large and small, her generous supportive nature and overall zest for life were inspiring to us all. Kat had a remarkable ability to translate the research and science of breast cancer into information that was digestible for newly diagnosed women and explained the impact of science and research findings throughout the advocacy community. She often helped to lead the dialogue between advocates, survivors and researchers – gaining the respect, admiration and appreciation of them all.
Kat worked in breast cancer research advocacy full-time for various organizations including Young Survival Coalition, National Institute of Health, the Cochrane Collaboration, American Cancer Society, the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation, Research Advocacy Network, the National Cancer Institute and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. She was a graduate of the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s Project LEAD Institute, Research Advocacy Network Focus on Research, American Association for Cancer Research’s Scientist ↔ Survivor program, and the Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation’s Advocate Program.
In 2011, YSC was honored to have Kat join its Board of Directors (news release) as a strong voice for all young women with breast cancer, particularly those that connect using social media. As a young survivor, Kat supported countless other young women through their breast cancer diagnosis using Facebook, the YSC message boards and tirelessly volunteering.
Kat was funny, open-minded, engaging and never judged. Her warmth made it easy for young women to open up, listen and exchange perspectives. Her enthusiasm and unwavering dedication will be greatly missed and we will work to honor her by continuing to further the mission of YSC.
Kat leaves behind her husband of 13 years, Jeff, and their four children: Bethany, Liam, Elise and Micah (who was born last week).
Kat, we will miss your leadership, determination and passion.
The YSC Board of Directors