The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation remembers Kathleen “Kathy” Sarna, our dear friend and longtime supporter who passed away in March after complications from surgery for a brain tumor.
Kathy, who along with her sisters Jane Stanczuk and the late Lucille Montrony ran the Three Strohm Sisters Family Foundation, was a force to be reckoned in the quest to fund cancer research. Whether organizing one of the foundation’s popular fundraisers, tending to the daily needs of the organization or advocating for research though one-on-one interactions, Kathy could be counted on to get results. It is her tenacity, directness and unassuming charm for which she will be remembered.
She overcame a challenging childhood to raise a loving family with her husband Richard Sarna, have a career in advertising, survive breast cancer and make an indelible mark in the search for a cancer cure. Growing up in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, Kathy was born the fourth child of Joseph and Mary Strohm. The Strohm siblings, including brothers Joe, Edward and Frank, lost their mother to tuberculosis and their father was killed in a workplace accident. These tragedies required that they be separated and raised by various family members.
As the years passed, Kathy and her siblings drifted apart but were brought together in the 1990s when it was discovered that she, Jane and Lucille all had breast cancer. The family rallied around them as the sisters beat their breast cancer and started their fundraising mission in 1999, raising more than one million dollars for research through their foundation, with much of it benefiting the work of the SWCRF in pediatric and breast cancer.
We stand with the Sarna and Strohm families in mourning the loss of Kathy and remain dedicated to continuing her legacy of advocacy for cancer research in partnership with the Three Strohm Sisters Family Foundation.
For more information about the Three Strohm Sisters Family Foundation, click here.