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About Liz's Legacy

The idea for Liz's Legacy was born as the Karnes family talked with the staff at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center about how they could continue the outreach and cancer awareness efforts Liz dedicated herself to. Her strength, courage and positive attitude had made Liz a role model for many cancer patients and their families, and everyone close to her agreed the most fitting way to honor her memory was to carry on the work she so deeply believed in.

When Liz's Legacy was announced in August 2003, Dr. Ken Cowan, M.D., Ph.D. and director of the UNMC Eppley Cancer Center, said, "Helping others was truly Liz's legacy. Throughout her struggle with cancer, she never stopped helping others. She would visit recently diagnosed cancer patients and show them—through her example—that they could live with cancer. Along with the Karnes family, we want to continue to share her message through new community events, partnerships and outreach activities."

According to Liz's husband, former Nebraska Senator Dave Karnes, making people aware of cancer risks, educating them on the importance of healthy lifestyles and preventive measures, and ensuring caring treatment are top priorities for Liz's Legacy. "Through her experiences, Liz learned how vital it is to be an advocate for yourself and your health concerns, and to refuse being intimidated by the health care system," says former Senator Karnes. "She constantly encouraged everyone around her to be conscious of their health issues and their family histories, and to share that information with their doctors. We are heartened to know Liz's Legacy is helping us spread these important messages throughout the country."

The Karnes' eldest daughter Korey echoes her dad's feelings. "My mom encouraged other cancer patients to always keep trying, live life to the fullest and never give up on their dreams. I'm so proud that through Liz's Legacy, we're able to continue her dream of ensuring that people receive the best cancer care and treatment possible."