"The latest victim of the tumor has been my facial nerve."
August 14, 2012 9:12 PM   Subscribe

Kathi Goertzen, a TV news anchor on KOMO in Seattle, has died after battling brain tumors for 14 years. In 2011, she candidly discussed how it felt to be in the public eye after a tumor caused one side of her face to become paralyzed.

Kathi was first diagnosed with a rare form of meningioma back in 1998. When she was profiled in the Seattle Times in May, 2012, along with her two daughters, she was recovering from her 9th surgery.

The Kathi Goertzen Foundation was formed to "support research for cures and encourage patients in their battles against brain cancers and tumors."
posted by skycrashesdown (18 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

She lived in our part of Seattle and was mentioned in the local blog from time to time. I'm sorry to hear of her passing.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:35 PM on August 14, 2012

This is so sad -- she was always my favorite anchor, and with Dan Lewis and Steve Pool, part of my favorite Anchor Team. I don't think there was anyone who didn't like her. It seems not liking her would be akin to not liking kittens. She always seemed so genuine, and unlike a lot of anchors nowadays, she was a real journalist as well.

It really seemed that she was doing better, too, so I hoped she'd finally beat the tumors.

So sad.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 9:39 PM on August 14, 2012

She lived in our part of Seattle and was mentioned in the local blog from time to time.

I also live in Magnolia, although I didn't realize Kathi did as well until after she'd passed.
posted by skycrashesdown at 9:42 PM on August 14, 2012

Bree Walker, from long ago here in San Diego, deserves some credit for being an on-the-air personality with a physical handicap that was apparent, although she called no attention to it.
posted by SPrintF at 9:51 PM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

Like many people from Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland of BC, I grew up with Kathi Goertzen. She'll be missed.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 10:05 PM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

posted by Aquaman at 10:05 PM on August 14, 2012

posted by tristeza at 10:20 PM on August 14, 2012

Very sad at Kathi Goertzen's passing - I am in Vancouver BC, but watched her on the news for many years.

posted by seawallrunner at 10:31 PM on August 14, 2012

posted by takuan at 10:40 PM on August 14, 2012

posted by spinifex23 at 10:42 PM on August 14, 2012

I live in Seattle now, although I'm not originally from here, and wasn't familiar with Kathi Goertzen until recently. I'm in school to be a speech language pathologist (with a particular interest in working with adults who have brain injury) and so many of the female clients I've had (especially the ones who were in their 40s and 50s--young--when their injury occurred) just adored Kathi Goertzen, and really looked up to her. They have so much admiration for her strength and genuineness, and her refusal to be embarrassed. I know they all wish she would beat the tumors.
posted by Ideal Impulse at 10:46 PM on August 14, 2012

Grew up watching her in Victoria. I haven't really watched Komo in a while being away from the Northwest for a while and wasn't aware of this. Fighting a few tears here watching...here's hoping her fighting and her honesty inspires a lot of people out there to hold their heads up a bit higher. She was a real, natural leader. RIP Kathy.

posted by jimmythefish at 11:07 PM on August 14, 2012

When the anchors on rival stations choke up while reporting on a competitor's passing (look for the touching tribute by Jean Enersen of KING-TV on YouTube), you get the feeling she really must have been someone special.
posted by Olden_Bittermann at 11:37 PM on August 14, 2012

What a brave woman. I admire the hell out of her for sharing and going on TV as she went through her fight. Goodnight, Kathi.
posted by LarryC at 2:01 AM on August 15, 2012

posted by koucha at 4:50 AM on August 15, 2012


She was a class act. She combined elegance with genuineness and friendliness. She was loyal, too, not only to her family, her city, her news station, her college, and her beloved dog, but also to the women and children helped by the YWCA. From the YWCA website:

A champion for women and families, Kathi served on the YWCA Board of Directors from 1986-2004: as Chair from 1992-1993 and on the steering committee of the historic $43 million Moving Women and Families Forward Campaign.

Kathi brought visibility and credibility to the work of the YWCA, especially our efforts to improve the lives of chronically homeless women. Her boundless enthusiasm inspired volunteerism and her reporting brought to light the stories of women and families in need. She appeared as the event emcee at every annual YWCA Seattle Inspire Luncheon for 24 years, always sure to identify “the few good men in the audience” and to applaud the YWCA for its work to give women “a hand-up, not a hand-out.”

In these past two years, she was supported at the podium by her mother Irma Goertzen, her younger daughter Andrea and her co-anchor Dan Lewis.

posted by bearwife at 9:50 AM on August 15, 2012

Bummer - I remember her fondly from living out West in Seattle.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 2:55 PM on August 15, 2012

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