Kathi Goertzen was all that and more in her fight against brain tumors.
She shared her struggles with all of us and helped others who face the same battle. She was so dedicated to the fight that she launched a foundation in 2011 to help others.
She chose special qualities in its creation: Inspire. Hope. Cure.
These are the principals Kathi Goertzen built her foundation on to figure out what causes brain tumors. At that time, Kathi said, "My hope is that someday we're going to find a cure and I know it's around the corner."
Her husband, Rick Jewitt, said, "We want to make an impact we want inspire hope and cure. We want to inspire people with brain tumors that there is hope and we want to inspire research to find a cure. "
Throughout her own 14 year battle with a brain tumor, Kathi Goertzen really took the time to listen and talk with others diagnosed with meningioma - the most common type of brain tumor.
And it's more common than you might think - diagnosed in one out of every 1,000 people.
For most of these patients - roughly 90 percent - treatment requires no surgery at all or just one surgery to remove the tumor.
"For most meningiomas this is the good news right, for most meningiomas very easy to manage and don't represent a life threatening process," said Dr. John Henson.
But in 10 percent of the cases, the tumors are very aggressive, and this is the battle Kathi fought.
"Her case was extraordinary in the difficulty in controlling the tendency of the tumor to reoccur," Henson said.
There is great research going on to find the cause and better cures for brain tumors. And the Kathi Goertzen Foundation will be there to support this mission and inspire patients to believe in their own strength as they battle the illness.
"We've done well in the last year we've done tremendous things. We're generating dollars," Rick said.
Kathi once said, "We're making leaps and bounds and one day people are not going to have to deal with this, we're going to have an easy way to get rid of these things."
Kathi's husband and daughters continue the work she started with the Kathi Goertzen Foundation. You too can be part of finding a cure, by making a donation here.