Life was going back to “normal” for Katie Jurek and her family until they were suddenly faced with the return of cancer—a circumstance no child or family should have to endure. Katie’s mother, Lynn Poferl, remembers asking her daughter if there was anything she was afraid of. “What Katie feared most,” said Lynn, “was being forgotten.”
Diagnosed with osteosarcoma at age 16, Katie completed 14 months of treatment, including multiple surgeries, chemotherapy and countless hours of physical therapy before going back to school for her senior year. In her second year of college, the vicious cancer returned and on February 22, 2007, Katie passed away peacefully, surrounded by friends and family.
To honor Katie’s memory, Lynn worked closely with Sara Darling, the CEO and owner of It’s Just Lunch, a matchmaking service for busy professionals. The two friends created Date for Life, a fundraiser for Children’s Cancer Research Fund that brings together the Twin Cities’ most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes.
“Date for Life gives us the opportunity to tell Katie’s story,” said Lynn. “We raise money to honor her memory. And because we know what families go through, we want to help fund research that someday can prevent childhood cancer.”
The event started small and grew quickly, thanks to a team of dedicated volunteers who all share the same passion for childhood cancer research and advocacy. In just nine years, Date for Life has raised more than $435,000 to fuel promising research.
Be a part of this year’s 10th annual Date for Life on March 1, 2018, at the Grand 1858 Space in Minneapolis
Date for Life is just one way the Poferl family celebrates Katie’s strength and determination while raising money for research. Katie’s stepbrother, John Poferl, hosts an annual kickball and softball tournament called Love Beer. Hate Cancer. The fundraiser has generated more than $55,000 for CCRF in 8 years.