26-year breast cancer survivor Omaha’s Kate Sommer is this year’s recipient of the nationally recognized Susan G. Komen Outstanding Volunteer Award.
“Kate has been at all 20 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure events in Omaha and our two Races in Kearney,” said Karen Daneu, Executive Director of Komen Nebraska. “She has been Race Chair three times. She heads up our Day of Race registration, and she can always been seen on Race day with her ‘#1 Survivor’ Race bib pinned to her shirt.”
Sommer received her breast cancer diagnosis at age 30. She is considered one of Nebraska’s leading breast cancer awareness advocates and a devoted breast cancer fundraiser.
With the exception of a mandatory one-year hiatus, Sommer has served on Komen Nebraska’s Board of Directors every year since 2002 (the year Komen Nebraska became a Komen Affiliate). She is Past President of Komen Nebraska, having served two terms in that role.
“Kate’s enthusiasm inspires new volunteers and involvement every year,” Daneu said. “She has solicited sponsors, including one of the most significant for our Affiliate, a partnership with Union Pacific that has continued for over 13 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars of fundraising.”
Nationally, Sommer has served on the Komen Metastatic Round Table, sharing her wisdom with other survivors and with Komen headquarter’s policymakers. Currently, she serves on the Komen Survivor Task Force, which aims to improve Komen survivor programs throughout the country.
“Kate is truly one of the most inspiring and courageous women I know,” said Beth Groh, former Komen Nebraska Race for the Cure Chair. “Without her the women of Nebraska would not have the resources to fight breast cancer that we are privileged to have in our state.”
Sommer is married to husband Leonard. They have a daughter, Emily, and a son, James. The entire Sommer family volunteers for Komen Nebraska activities.