My dear friend, Gayle (Kari’s sister), said it best, “Anyway, to know her is to love her…” I cannot imagine a single person who could disagree with that statement.
On May 15, 2007, after a long but uplifting day of cancer advocacy training in Washington, D.C., for LIVESTRONG Day® (which was Wednesday, May 16, 2007), I read my email. There was a message from Gayle. It said, in part, “I just wanted to let you know that my fantastic and awesome sister, Kari, has finished her fight with cancer. I will miss her so very much.” Indeed, everyone will miss her.
I thought about Kari and her family a lot on LIVESTRONG® Day. And it couldn’t have brought the “mission” of our efforts into sharper focus. I was part of an advocacy group from all over the country fighting for all stages in the battle through and against cancer: Education, screening and treatment FOR EVERYBODY WHO NEEDS IT, as well as survivorship care, and, if the battle reaches an untimely conclusion, end-of-life care.
Thank you so much, Kari, for being such an inspiration in life and even beyond. Your legacy will continue to motivate and encourage people with your radiant and extraordinary spirit.
If you’d like to read more, please refer to the following:
Kari was a unique individual with a sparkling personality and a selflessness that somehow intensified as her pain increased and her physical condition deteriorated.
In lieu of flowers, Kari’s family would appreciate donations through this site to help pay medical expenses and support the future needs of her miracle daughter, Ellie.
UPDATE, 9/13/2009: It seems that the links to the Kari Mason Fund are not functioning. I’ll check with her family and see if this charity exists any longer.
The link to “Live Like You Were Dying is also non-functioning.”
UPDATE, 11/17/2009: The Kari Mason Fund no longer exists.
The aforementioned article, “Live Like You Were Dying,” is no longer online. I have, however, requested and received a hard copy from the Wasatch Woman that I will scan and post as soon as possible, as well as a follow-up article about her family from July/August 2008 that they graciously sent as well.