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Image of Kate Murphy

Photos and text used with
permission of Kate Murphy's family.

Kate Murphy was a rare and beloved woman.

A devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, Kate passed away in early October from complications of Lynch-related colorectal cancer. Following her initial diagnosis in 1983, Kate spent the rest of her life as a dedicated patient advocate, helping to educate, enlighten, and encourage others whose lives were affected by cancer.

Soon after her initial cancer treatment, Kate joined the Association of Cancer Online Resource (ACOR) and in time became known as the "list mom," frequently chatting with others, offering advice and resources, and sharing her personal experiences. She was matter-of-fact and informative discussing new medications and treatments, thoughtful and helpful in offering daily survival suggestions, and compassionate when consoling family members regarding the loss of a loved one.

In 2010, Kate was nominated to serve as a consumer peer reviewer for the Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP), where she joined scientists, clinicians, and other consumers in assessing potential research proposals. In 2011 she was selected to be on the PRCRP's Integration Panel (IP), where she not only took part in recommending awards to be funded, but also helped develop the PRCRP's annual investment strategy for the following year.

Kate's voice was one of honesty, pragmatism and humor, and she was a strong advocate for all consumers and worked diligently to ensure the investment in cancer research would be meaningful to service members, their families and the American public. Regardless of the circumstances, Kate's drive was ever present. She was dedicated to changing cancer treatment and through her work with the PRCRP, her voice and her commitment will continue to be heard for years to come. A significant part of her legacy will be the accomplishments garnered by the researchers funded by the PRCRP.

Kate's legacy lives on through her husband, Tom and two sons, Christopher and Donald along with her friends and fellow advocates across the country and around the world.