Kathi Goertzen died yesterday, a familiar face to most of us up here, a reporter and then anchor for our ABC affiliate since 1980.

She was 54, just three months older than I am, so there’s that.  We get accustomed to it by this point in life, the matching up, seeing ages and birthdates and relating to those who pass in our generation.  Accustomed.  Not used to it.

And she died, ultimately, from a recurrent meningioma, the same sort of tumor Julie had, although far more serious it seems.  While my wife lost some vision and had vasculature threatened, Goertzen’s tumor resulted in facial paralysis and loss of hearing on one side, and ultimately ended her life.

So it’s a sad local story; even in a city the size of Seattle, it’s not hard to find relationships that intersect with someone like Kathi Goertzen, a life-long native, a WSU graduate, a local news celebrity.  She seemed like a very nice woman, nice family, nice career.  She seemed like one of us.

This has brought back some thoughts on our particular meningioma story, and particularly some things on health insurance that I’ve never quite gotten into in this space or the newspaper, but I think I’ll resist springboarding off of this sadness.  I didn’t know Kathi Goertzen, and I don’t remember ever meeting her, maybe just seeing her off to the side after a big Seahawks or Mariners game, but I can grieve a little with her family and friends, just remembering.


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