In December of 2014, Katherine Bensen was diagnosed with stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer at 40 years old. As a young nonsmoker and mother of four, this diagnosis was a shock to her family and the last thing she ever expected.
In December of 2019, the Fruth Family Foundation honored Katherine with a generous $50,000 matching gift designated to A Breath of Hope’s research program. Inspired by Katherine’s courage throughout her five-year battle with stage 4 lung cancer, the Foundation matched A Breath of Hope’s 2019 year end gifts designated to research up to $50,000. Great news – the A Breath of Hope community accepted this challenge and reached that goal by the end of the year.
Lung cancer claims more lives each year than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined, yet lung cancer receives disproportionately less research funding per cancer death than other types of cancer. A Breath of Hope knows that funding strong science and cutting edge translational lung cancer research is vital to finding new treatments to save lives.
In honor of Katherine, her ongoing fight to overcome lung cancer, and the generous matching gift from the Fruth Family Foundation, A Breath of Hope announced The Katherine Bensen Hope Award. This $150,000 lung cancer research fellowship was awarded to Dr. Esra Akbay in May 2020.