Dear DRCF Community,

It is with an extremely heavy heart that I share with you the news that our beloved Karen Grant passed away earlier this week from cancer. As many of you know, Karen was a stellar human being, and I am finding it very difficult to even write this due to our collective sadness here at the DRCF–the world has truly lost a magnificent human being.

Karen inspired all who knew her to be a better person. She was so committed and passionate with what was a priority in her life, one of which was obviously the DRCF, as she served as one of the most dedicated members on our board up until this dreadful disease took her life. Her courage, kindness and commitment has been such an inspiration to everyone of us here at the DRCF and so many others. She will be dearly, dearly missed.

We will definitely be doing something very special to honor Karen. Please stay tune for further details (please also see Karen’s memorial service information below.)

May she rest in peace.

Mark Zappone

Service info:
Karen’s Service is Tuesday, April 24
Beth Israel Synagogue
2501 Shore Road, Northfield
Visitation 1 – 2
Service 2 – 3
Anchorage following the service (It was her favorite place)

Below is a letter Karen wrote to us shortly after she received a grant from our foundation in 2013, prior to her joining our board a couple years later.

I just wanted to check in and say hello.

I was sitting in chemo yesterday and realized it was three weeks ago that I got your call.

Since then, we have been pretty busy. Mark’s mom passed away suddenly on the Monday following meeting with you. We drove up to Massachusetts, where he is from, for the funeral. As anyone who has undergone chemo knows, the first week seems to be the hardest. I was weak and just feeling crappy, but I had to be there to support him and his family. What an emotional and stressful time. Although my mom can drive me crazy, I am so thankful she is still with me.

I am sharing this information because, although it was a difficult time for both of us and his whole family, by meeting with you the Thursday before, I was not also stressed financially and was able to focus on him and his grieving.

My state disability is under review, which is normal after a period of time. I understand the process and the need to confirm the legitimacy, as there is a lot of fraud out there. So, I will not be getting my disability for at least a month to six weeks while all the paperwork is shuffled. Without your support, my bills would not be paid this month.

So, although I may not write or call every day, I want you, and the rest of the Board to know that what you have done for me affects everything I do and is appreciated every day. Not a day goes by that I am not thankful to the DRCF. You have made one of the most stressful pieces of the fight less stressful. Please know that I thank God every day for each of you and my appreciation is beyond words.

Yesterday was the 5th chemo in a cycle of 6, so one more in this series. I will soon have a surgery date for December and will keep you posted.

Again, words cannot express my gratitude.


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