We are sorry to share that we’ve lost our friend and former MBCN board member Kathy Coursey-Boes. She died on February 14, 2014 at age 53. “Our hearts go out to Kathy’s family,” said Deb Tincher, vice president of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network. “She was so instrumental in educating people about this disease. The metastatic community has lost a powerful voice–we were privileged to call Kathy our sister and friend.”
Kathy died on Valentine’s Day–if we had to lose her, we are glad it is on a day filled with love and kind thoughts–just like Kathy herself. Kathy truly was a sweetheart–we will miss her soft Southern accent and her invariable “y’all.” But Kathy did not merely use “you all” as a figure of speech–it was more of a mission statement. Her heart was truly open to others.
For Kathy, a stranger really was just a friend she hadn’t met yet. “I never met Kathy in person,” wrote one Facebook friend and fellow cancer patient. “I read her posts daily and she always seemed so upbeat and happy, regardless of what she was dealing with And it was very obvious the love she had for her husband and daughter.”
“When I first met Kathy in 2009, she had just been awarded and recognized as THE PINK POWER MOM from the Kids II Foundation,” recalled Shirley Mertz, MBCN president. “She decided to donate her prize money to MBCN because she believed that there were many women who needed the support and education MBCN provided. How generous she was!”
Kathy, accompanied by her young daughter, Addie, was a cheerful and comforting presence at conferences, a wonderful representative for MBCN. She was a passionate advocate and instrumental in garnering support for the 2009 proclamation that established October 13th as National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day.
“We requested one day in October when we would be seen and heard through the maze of pinkness,” Kathy told Coping Magazine. “Senator Evan Bayh from Indiana and Representative Rosa De Lauro of Connecticut took the lead in supporting the resolutions to declare October 13 as National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. It took many calls and a lot of footwork but the U.S. House of Representatives passed the resolutions that we proposed. We now have our day!”
“Inspiration” is a word that is often generously and carelessly applied. But there is no better embodiment of inspiration than Kathy Coursey-Boes. It was not in her nature to complain or wallow in despair or pity. She dealt with cancer in a brisk, matter-of-fact way. Whatever the complication or physical affront, she met it and moved on–always anchored in her deep and unassailable faith.
Our sincere and heartfelt condolences to Kathy’s family and friends. Please know that we will always remember her. Kathy’s bright spirit will live on in all that we do.