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Katie King ('97)

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's

Photo: Katie King

In 2004, Katie's father, Bill Lowry, was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia, a fast-growing cancer of the blood and bone marrow. The Virginia Leukemia and Lymphoma Society was a valuable resource to her close-knit family as they began a very personal battle against the disease. Although Katie's father passed away in November 2006, she was determined to keep up the fight. Katie has wholeheartedly embraced the society's mission of working to cure blood cancers and improve the quality of life for patients and their families. Her drive to raise money and awareness in combating the disease led to her recognition as the society's 2007 Virginia Woman of the Year. Her campaign included a golf fundraiser, a spaghetti dinner, a tea and "Uncork for the Cure," a wine-tasting event, which she hopes to make an annual fundraiser. Katie sees her work as a way to honor her father's memory: "My dad never complained about the fact that he had leukemia — he always looked for the good that could come from a situation that seemed not so good on its surface,'" she says.

Katie's father kept a journal during his illness. After his death, she found comfort and wisdom in his insights. She shares a personal favorite: "Life is not all sunshine. Nothing grows without rain, so do not despair or curse the storm clouds when they appear." — Bill Lowry