Kathy KoerteKathleen ‘Kathy’ Koerte of Kapaa has been named a Hero of Hope by the American Cancer Society.  Kathy is one of two 2015 Heroes of Hope in Hawaii.

Heroes of Hope are cancer survivors or caregivers who have demonstrated a commitment to the American Cancer Society’s mission of saving lives from the disease. As highly visible symbols of a personal victory over cancer, they share their personal stories in a variety of settings to motivate others to fight back against the disease.

Kathy is a 12 year survivor of colon cancer.  Upon starting treatment at the Wilcox Hospital, she was given the phone number to the American Cancer Society for support.  She recalls her first experience at Relay For Life as a life changing.  She was overcome with emotion to see all the support from people she’s known and those she didn’t know, as well as community businesses.  They all cheered her on as she took her Survivor Lap around the track with other Survivors.  Kathy also attributes much of her strength and inspiration from her family and friends.

“When these special volunteers share their struggles and experiences, they represent all cancer survivors and caregivers,” said Tanya Brown, Sr. Manager, Relay For Life. “Through their stories, they inspire and encourage people facing cancer and motivate people to take action through things like participating in our local Relay For Life event.”

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life movement is the world’s largest fundraising event to end cancer, uniting communities across the globe to fight back against this disease. Teams camp out at local schools, parks, or fairgrounds and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team has at least one representative on the track at all times and raises funds to support the Society’s lifesaving mission in the months leading up to the event. In 2014, four million people participated in more than 6,000 events worldwide. This year’s Relay For Life of Kauai will be held Saturday, April 25, 2015 at the Hanapepe Soccer Field.

Call Relay For Life Community Manager Patti Ornellas at 808-246-0695 or visit relayforlife.org or http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?pg=entry&fr_id=64737

for more information about this year’s Relay For Life event.

About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of nearly three million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society’s efforts have contributed to a 22 percent decline in cancer death rates in the US during the past two decades, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part to our progress nearly 14.5 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year.  We’re determined to finish the fight against cancer. As the nation’s  largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, we’re finding cures and ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, visit cancer.org or call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345.