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A zest for life remembered

Marathons of Hope honors and supports people fighting cancer

Karen Skoog loved life, and getting ovarian cancer didn’t change that. She never stopped making the most of every day and appreciating everything life had to offer.

“Cancer became a personal cause for my mom. She was determined to turn it into something positive,” Karen’s daughter Barb said.

When Frauenshuh Cancer Center opened in 2009, Karen got involved and began serving on its patient advisory board.

Karen Skoog, right and her daughter Barb.

“My mom was inspired by the nurses, doctors, staff and other volunteers at the cancer center. She loved them so much that she started volunteering there herself!” Barb said. “Their passion for quality patient care and commitment to creating the best possible environment for patients was something she was proud to be a part of.”

Karen also joined the planning committee for our Marathons of Hope fundraiser. Marathons of Hope is a 1K walk and a certified 5K and 10K race. The money raised each year goes to therapies and family support for cancer patients at Frauenshuh.

“Mom believed the cancer center makes a huge difference in people’s treatment,” Barb said. “The single rooms, the walkway, the birdfeeders, the holiday lights… she loved them all.”

Karen died in January 2017 at the age of 72. She will be honored by her family at this year’s Marathons of Hope. It takes place Saturday, Sept. 9 at Lake Calhoun/Bde Maka Ska in Minneapolis.

The Skoog family's Marathons of Hope team t-shirt.

“My mom loved to gather with people, raise a glass and toast life. That’s why we decided to call our family team Karen’s Happy Hour Heroes,” Barb said. “The name seemed appropriate. She had a lot of amazing friends who supported her on her journey.”

Karen was also a big believer in staying active during cancer treatment. She created three workout videos geared toward people who are either in treatment, or have just finished.

Karen Skoog, center, with her family.

“She was really an advocate for being your own advocate. And she knew how important was to support one another through everything,” Barb said. “She was always there for other people. Marathons of Hope embodies that. Through it, I can express my passion for remembering my mom.”

Learn more or register for Marathons of Hope.

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