I Am a Fort Worth Mama: Joan Katz

unnamedJoan Katz is a wife, mother, grandmother, former special education teacher, and a community volunteer who devotes her time, energy, passion, and resources to causes that have deeply and personally touched her life. She is also a four time cancer and heart disease survivor, who never takes the priceless gift of health for granted.

When she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1982, at the age of 30, it was a much different world. Breast cancer was truly talked about in whispers. Since that day, Joan has remained intent on using her voice and experiences to make the journey easier for others. In 1992, she and college roommate Rozanne Rosenthal, co-founded the Susan G. Komen Greater Fort Worth Race and Affiliate. Since that time, more than $23 million has been raised for important local community projects and national research grants. In 2008, Joan humbly joined forces with Dr. Alan Johns, Baylor All Saints Medical Center and The Andrews Women’s Hospital to create the Joan Katz Breast Center for those facing breast and gynecological cancers. Joan is so grateful there is a place you can immediately turn to for hope and support. All non-medical services like navigation and counseling are free of charge, no matter where you receive your medical treatment.

Joan also chaired the Capital Campaigns to build new campuses for Trinity Valley School and the Gladney Center for Adoption, as well as serving as president of Jewel Charity in 2007. In addition, she has volunteered with American Heart Association, Beth-El Congregation, Camp Fire First Texas, Cook Children’s Medical Center, El Tesoro de la Vida, Jewish Family Service, Junior League of Fort Worth, The Learning Center of North Texas, and The WARM Place. Joan is  proud to be known as a community volunteer, but the titles she values the most always center around her family and friends. She and her husband Howard have been married for 40 years, and their greatest joys are Lori, Brad, and new baby Samson Alexander Sturman.

Joan graciously agreed to answer our famous five.

If we peeked in your purse right now, what would we find?

I always say if I have my lipstick, concealer and blush I just cope better! I never leave home without them!

Why do you call Cowtown home?

I met my husband Howard, a Fort Worth native, at the University of Texas. We moved here when we married 40 years ago, and I am still totally in love with him, as well as this wonderful city!

What’s been the greatest joy of motherhood?

My husband and I were waiting to adopt from The Gladney Center when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. We shut the door to the nursery thinking our dream of becoming parents was gone. However, after completing treatment my team of doctors encouraged us to move forward. The day our daughter was placed in my arms, I felt joy like none other . . . that feeling has never stopped.

What’s been the greatest challenge of motherhood?

I feel the biggest challenge as a mom is the worry — have I handled things in the best way; have I taught the important lessons and been a good role model; have I instilled lasting traditions, values, and lessons; have my mistakes caused lasting impact, etc. I always try to remind myself that I have loved with all of my heart and tried my very best, and that plain and simple there is no manual for the enormous responsibility of motherhood.

How do you hope your life inspires and/or influences other women?

All of us have moments in life where we are on the receiving end of people’s prayers, support, guidance, friendship, and acts of kindness. I know what it means to grab hold of outstretched hands in our greatest moments of need. The only way I can say thank you is to return my own outstretched hand and hope that I can return just a little ofpinkbluemama logo the hope, faith, and love I have received over and over again.

Fort Worth Favorites

Date Night: Sushi and a movie.
Dessert: White birthday or wedding cake, with white icing and lemon filling.
Entertainment: WinStar Casino – I love playing penny slots!!
Shopping: (clothing for you): Boutiques to malls to online.
Relaxation: Pedicures, massages, and facials.

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