UNMC - Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center - Jennifer Salem Fund - 01141550
Jennifer Salem Fund
April 8, 1976 – March 14, 2017
Jennifer was born in Midland, MI, to James and Dale Coon. Shortly after her birth, Jennifer and her parents moved to the Chicago area settling in the western suburb of Glendale Heights, IL. She soon welcomed her younger brother, Michael, into the home. Throughout her childhood, Jennifer was active in sports playing softball, volleyball, and basketball in high school at Glenbard North.
Jennifer attended Northwestern University and played softball while majoring in Biomedical Engineering. After finishing her undergraduate degree in 1998, Jennifer chose to pursue a graduate degree at Case Western Reserve University. It was in her first month at graduate school that she met Kyle. Their relationship grew from their first meeting in the Biomedical Imaging Laboratory and, after three years, were married on July 28, 2001.
After Kyle finished his degree, Jennifer completed her research work and then moved with him to the Atlanta, GA, area where she finished writing her doctoral thesis. Completing her degree in 2003, Jennifer worked as a consultant in her advisor’s laboratory at Case for a time. She and Kyle also moved because of his job to the far western suburbs of Philadelphia. It was here that they started a family when she gave birth to Elizabeth (Ellie) on their third anniversary.
Just six months later, the family moved to Omaha, NE. Jennifer immediately became involved in numerous community activities including Mom’s Club, eventually serving as the President. Through this work, Jennifer was able to welcome a number of new moms to the area and get to know many great people. After adding their son, Jonah, to their family on Mother’s Day in 2006, Jennifer continued to serve the community through participation with numerous non-profit guilds and helping out with activities for her children. The family was finally completed in 2010 when Lanie was born on September 14th.
Jennifer dedicated her time after the birth of her children to their activities and ensuring they had the best possible opportunity to succeed. Tirelessly, Jennifer would drive to activities, volunteer to help, and then be responsible for making sure everyone got home. Jennifer took pride in being a wife and mother. She spent her time dedicated to others often neglecting herself in the process. Her selfless love has created a lasting legacy through her children.
After being diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in 2014, Jennifer’s battle included a number of ups and downs. Her giving spirit continued to shine through her involvement in her kids’ activities despite physical difficulties and volunteer work for Susan G. Komen of Nebraska.
Jennifer died on March 14, 2017, after more than a 3-year fight. She is survived by husband, Kyle; children Elizabeth, Jonah, and Lanie; parents James and Dale Coon of Glendale Heights, IL; grandmother Sonia Bruski of Chicago, IL; brother Michael Coon (Julie) of Schuyler Falls, NY; many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, and uncles.
Donations will fund metastatic breast cancer research, and all gifts will be matched by CQuence Health Group. Funds will be used to sponsor a memorial at the Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center in Jennifer’s honor.
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