Since February 2019, family, friends and colleagues have witnessed the courage, dignity, honesty, grace, and strength of Kathy Brandt, her wife Kim Acquaviva and their son Greyson. Kathy was diagnosed with advanced stage ovarian cancer and was told she would not survive the disease. She did not. Kathy died at 4:51 AM on August 4, 2019 with Kim by her side.
With her family, Kathy made the profound decision to forego chemotherapy or other treatment that might have prolonged her life but would have drastically diminished the quality of the time she had remaining. With this decision, she “walked the walk and talked the talk” of everything she contributed during her career in the hospice and palliative care world. With this decision, she also gifted us with an example of courage and how we too can face the end of our lives when it is inevitably our turn.
Through FaceBook and Twitter posts as well as updates through this GoFundMe, Kathy, Kim and Greyson allowed us to share this intimate, sacred and profound journey through Kathy's last months, weeks and days of life . It was a continuation and completion of Kathy's life's work and a "paying it forward" from Kim and Greyson that continually inspires awe and love for them.
The goal of this GoFundMe campaign was to try to raise as much money as possible to alleviate financial worries during the last months of Kathy's life. And it succeeded. Kathy and Kim never failed to thank all those who contributed to this GoFundMe and share how much the money provided by the more than 500 hundred friends, family and colleagues allowed them to focus on their family, building memories and affording increased medical expenses.
One of Kathy's last comments regarding this GoFundMe was that it was her deepest desire not to leave her family in debt. Going from two incomes to one, paying college tuition, unexpected and significant medical bills and having little (or possibly no) life insurance is hard. This GoFundMe continues because we need to help cover medical bills, funeral and memorial service, obituary, back to school and other expenses that could be an additional and unnecessary burden as Kim and Greyson continue navigating the tunnels of grief ahead of them. Let us do it for them. Let us do it for Kathy.