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Idaho State University

Student Faces Challenges

April, 9, 2003

Boise -- Kate Harding is a student who faces truly extraordinary challenges. A graduate student in speech language pathology at Idaho State University's Boise Center, she has reached the halfway mark and graduation is in sight. That's the good news.

The unfortunate news is her husband, Cory, was diagnosed with a grade four cancerous brain tumor. "Statistically, the prognosis isn't that good," Kate said. "But we're not focusing on statistics." Cory has undergone a number of treatments, including a second surgery last month. His condition and the medical treatments make it impossible for him to work. "Right now he's doing well and involved in physical therapy," said Kate.

She has been remarkably resilient, continuing to meet the academic and clinical demands of a very rigorous program, and is determined to complete her graduate program on schedule. By enrolling in a full-time externship this summer, she will graduate in August. However, she recently discovered she is pregnant.

"We were planning on trying to expand our family even before the diagnosis," she said. "We were thrilled when we got the news, and we are determined not to let cancer change our life's decisions." Now in her fifth month, Kate feels great and regards her pregnancy as a blessing. Yet the situation also demands additional responsibility. "Everyone has been so supportive," said Harding. "Friends, family, the students in my program and the doctors in Boise have been amazing."

The Hardings have already spent their savings on costs associated with medical care, and Kate fully expects to be the main earner in the family when she is finished with her program. To help Harding and her family, log on to, a web site developed by Wirestone, Cory's former employer or deposit gifts to the Kate Harding Benefit account at any KeyBank.