Remembering Kathleen (Kat) Werner, Breast Cancer Advocate, Volunteer and YSC Board Member

In Remembrance
Kathleen (Kat) Werner
1975-2012

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.

Sincerely,

The YSC Board of Directors

Comments (9)
Categories: Guest Bloggers

9 Responses to Remembering Kathleen (Kat) Werner, Breast Cancer Advocate, Volunteer and YSC Board Member

  1. Roxanne H says:

    Many of us never met Kat face to face, but loved her as a sister. You could depend on Kat for support and smile and encouragement. Those of us who have come to know Kat through the YSC community are deeply heartbroken at this tragic loss, and extend our hugs, thoughts and prayers to Kat’s family as they endure this difficult time.

  2. I was so utterly blessed to have Kat as a friend. I can’t even find the right words. I’m selfishly heartbroken, then 1,000 times more so when I think of her family and their loss. I feel I knew her very well, but never lost my awe for her and the person she was. She was really beautiful, inside and out, and completely inspiring. She is so well-loved because she loved others so well. I wish I could wake up from this really bad dream.

  3. Devin Lenz says:

    I never met Kat, but my wife’s connection to YSC brought her story close to home.

    As the lucky husband of a breast-cancer survivor and a father of two little boys, my heart breaks for Kat’s family.

    But I should know better by now. Lamenting on the loss doesn’t help Kat’s husband and her four beautiful children.

    So, I’ll close with applause for all that Kat did for her family, the pink cause and everyone that she encountered in her daily life. I know that she will be missed, but she did the world incredible good while she was a part of it.

    To Kat! Here, here…

    Devin

  4. Carla says:

    If we all, scientists, have had her determination and fierce to drive our research; breast cancer would be history by now. The best way to honor my friend is by being sure nobody wears pink again. Lets finish the job and get breast cancer erradicated once for all.
    I will miss you friend.
    Carla

  5. Krysti Hughett says:

    Cannot fathom it. Thank you dear Kat for being you and for all you did. You taught us so much, left a legacy of your family & friends and wonderful memories. Fly high and soar on your angel wings. You will never be forgotten. Your love lives on….

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  7. Diana T Chingos says:

    Kat LoJacano Werner also served on the NCI/NIEHS Working Group for the Breast Cancer Environmental Research Program.

    I had the pleasure of serving alongside Kat and can attest to her extraordinary commitment to understanding the causes of breast cancer, early onset of puberty and how specific windows of vulnerability to disease risk. She loved this research and contributing to the dialogue.

    The Research Program will convene in San Francisco in November of 2012 without Kat. She will surely be missed.

  8. Pingback: Channeling Kat at YSC’s Research Think Tank | Young Survival Coalition Blog

  9. Sarah says:

    I am just now learning of and saddenned by Kat’s sudden death in September. Thank you for this remembrance and further insight to the amazing person she was and inspires in us.

    I was honored to briefly meet Kat at the Cancer Survivorship Research Biennial last June—appropriately for her involvement, it was about translating science to care. She warmed me with her personality, encouraged me with her kindness (giving me nods and winks from the audience while I nervously presented on the impact of cancer on sexuality and intimacy), inspired me with her energy, and absolutely awed me with her intelligence and passion about research. What a proufound loss for the young breast cancer community, her friends, and especially her family.

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