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Inspirational Stories

Betsy

In Memory

Chicago, IL

Pam Katten died on September 24, 2002 after a year-long battle with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).  

Pam was an extraordinary woman, beloved as a mother, daughter, sister and friend, and a person who saw beauty in things most of us hardly notice. As an attorney for the New Jersey attorney general, she rose to the position of senior deputy section chief of employment litigation and counseling. As the New Jersey Department of Law’s Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Officer, she authored New Jersey’s Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment and Hostile Environments in the Workplace. But despite all of her accomplishments as an attorney, her greatest source of pride was her son Max.

Pam had an incomparable sense of humor and a talent for rewriting songs to fit any mood or occasion; perhaps the one best remembered by her friends is "Chopped Liver," written in honor of her grandfather, and sung to the tune of "Moon River." Pam retained her humor and her songwriting ability throughout her long illness, and was adored by all who knew her.

Pam’s battle with AML came just seven years after she was diagnosed with, and successfully overcame, Hodgkin lymphoma. She endured countless rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, as well as a stem cell transplant, and never complained. Instead, she focused on the work she planned to do as soon as she got through that dark time: raising money for leukemia research. With that goal in mind, Pam’s family has formed the Pamela B. Katten Memorial Leukemia Research Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, to work toward fulfilling Pam’s mission. Proceeds from the Foundation and its annual benefit party, thePamJam, go to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, to be directed toward selected research projects geared toward the diagnosis, treatment and eventual cure of leukemia and lymphoma.

Since 2003, to honor Pam’s courageous battle with leukemia, the Pamela B. Katten Memorial Leukemia Research Foundation has raised over $2 million for leukemia research.

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