Thursday, August 20, 2009

Karen Chiovaro 1956-2009

We lost another wonderful woman to triple negative breast cancer this week. Karen Chiovaro, my colleague and friend, died August 16. Karen was diagnosed in August 2007 and went through chemo and radiation, then breast reconstruction at the end of the process, in February 2008. The cancer returned shortly after that and she had aggressive chemo. My last email from her was her usual positive message, saying tests were good and that she was a candidate for PARP inhibitors. That was exactly a month before she died. PARP inhibitors do show great promise, but the research was a little too slow for Karen. Let’s support breast cancer research to encourage development of treatments for TNBC.

Karen was a vivacious woman with a true gift for life. She started her career as a school teacher, then moved into the production department at Meredith Corporation, where I met her. She ultimately became Senior Director of Production/Advertising for Meredith. Karen often visited my classes at Drake, walking students through an exercise in which they determined placement of pages in an actual magazine, usually Better Homes and Gardens.  It taught them a great deal about the relationship between advertising and editorial. She also was a valuable source, with her colleague Joanne Williams, on the production chapter of my magazine textbook, The Magazine from Cover to Cover.  And, in the brief period between treatment and remission, she even came to Drake to help interview staff members for the first issue of Think magazine, offering valuable expertise to the student who became production editor.

Karen’s obituary is here.

I will miss her.

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