Patricia E. Herber’s Story

patHerberPat, 1947-2005, and Greg Herber

Doctors discovered Pat Herber’s stage IV ovarian cancer in a routine operation to remove her gall bladder. A 12-year breast cancer survivor, Pat was sadly familiar with the treatments she would need, but determined to fight. She coped well after surgery and a year of chemo, but quickly her ovarian cancer returned—this time resistant to all treatments. Pat passed away on June 8, 2005, less than two years after the initial diagnosis. She left behind her mother, Caroline, husband, Greg, oldest son, Nathan (and wife Corinne), son Andrew (wife, Debbie and daughter – to- be, Ella), and her daughter, Marsha.

Pat was the perfect mother, compassionate and selfless, yet a true individual. She openly rejected anything “domestic.” She found cooking boring; she preferred the gym to crafts. A Spanish teacher by day, she loved to read, loved to travel, loved to dance – so full of life. Hysterical, witty, and brilliant – she knew everything, and everyone adored her.

It was devastating for Pat’s family to learn that her cancer was terminal – undoubtedly one of the worst days of their lives. Pat was calm and resolute: “Most people never get to have a family like ours. Don’t be sad. We are lucky.”

The Pat Herber Memorial Fund supports the Lynne Cohen Preventative Care Program for breast and ovarian cancer at the NYU Cancer Institute. The family hopes to help keep amazing women like Pat around for a long time.

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