When Kathy Kerrigan was diagnosed with cancer in 2007, her focus was on her health and her family. As a mom to four boys, cancer and its complications were a frightening challenge. She knew she was in the hands of highly-trained experts, but her care at Exeter Hospital impacted more than just Kathy’s health. One by one, each person she encountered throughout her treatment showed genuine compassion and friendliness that put her at ease. From the doctors to nurses to the person who would push her wheelchair, she felt an entire hospital rally behind her.
“The good I saw, and the humanity I witnessed during my diagnosis and treatment was overwhelming,” says Kathy. It compelled her to act. “I have to give back. What I can do?” In 2008, she launched Kathy for a Cure, a day-long exercise event. Proceeds benefitted a number of causes at Exeter Hospital, including women’s wellness initiatives that provided funding for mammograms and cervical screenings to women who couldn’t afford them.
Today, Kathy focuses on The Beyond the Rainbow Fund in the memory of Anne-Marie Viviano. Beyond the Rainbow provides financial assistance to Exeter Hospital cancer patients who may need help with expenses during their treatment. Over the last eight years, Kathy has rallied the community behind Exeter Hospital and its cancer patients, raising nearly $80,000 for The Beyond the Rainbow Fund. “It gives me chills,” Kathy says of the community’s response to the cause and its participation in the many fundraising events she organizes. “I realize now this is what I was meant to do.”