If you would like to have your loved one added to our memory page or to honor a survivor, please contact us at 262.305.1370 or send us mail at: Ann’s Hope Foundation
P.O. Box 376
Hartland WI 53029.
When Katie Young Brockman accepted my proposal of marriage 35 years ago, I had no idea of the wonderful life we would have together. We have two wonderful children and three grandchildren. We were blessed with a loving relationship based on respect and friendship. To follow is a brief biography of a quietly inspiring lady.
Katie was born on the northwest side of Milwaukee. Her parents, Ken and Terry, instilled family values in all six of their children. The home she grew up in was warm and comfortable. She worked hard in school and enjoyed spending time with her family and friends. She graduated from Pius XI High School in 1973. The following year she married Warren Brockman, a boy she met while attending Christ King grade school. At the time of their wedding, that boy was a Private First Class in the United States Marine Corps. She moved with him to North Carolina.
After two years, the Marine family transferred to San Diego where Katie gave birth to a beautiful girl named Jill. About a year and a half later, another blessing named Nicole was born. The following years brought experiences and travels throughout the U.S. and the Far East. This included five years on a small island in the Pacific called Okinawa.
In 1989, Katie moved back to Milwaukee with her husband two daughters and bought the house Katie grew up in on 94th and Keefe. They lived there until moving to Pewaukee in September 1996. Shortly after her return to Milwaukee, Katie started working at Hobert & Svoboda, a financial planning company located in Brookfield. She was employed there for 18 years until her retirement in February 2008.
Throughout Katie’s life, family was the most important thing to her. She was an adoring grandmother who’d talk her co-workers’ ears off about her grandkids’ accomplishments. She also had an intense interest in learning. She read encyclopedias and was constantly referring to maps or a dictionary. She enjoyed learning about people, especially those from different countries. She was a wonderful person who made everyone around her feel as though they were interesting and valued.
During a routine eye exam in 1997, the doctor noticed a small growth in Katie’s left eye. She was sent to the Eye Institute at Froedtert for a follow up. Because of the location of the tumor, a biopsy could not be performed so it was treated as if malignant. She was admitted to the hospital where a radioactive plaque was applied for a few days to shrink the tumor. For the next five years she had appointments every couple of months. At each appointment, the tumor was measured to see if there were changes. In 2003, the dormant tumor began to grow and her left eye was removed. Once removed, a biopsy was conducted on the tumor which confirmed it was melanoma. For the next few years, we enjoyed life feeling that the cancer had been eradicated.
In December of 2007, Katie found a lump on her right thigh. A biopsy concluded that the melanoma had metastasized. Over the next few years, tumors were found in several other areas of her body. She had numerous chemotherapy and radiation treatments. She lost her battle with melanoma on August 16, 2009.
Throughout Katie’s struggles with cancer, she was always positive and was an inspiration to all. An example of this occurred on May 17, 2009. She walked 3K at the Ann’s Hope Block Melanoma event at the Milwaukee County Zoo. During the entire walk she carried a bag containing 5FU, a chemotherapy drug. Every few minutes the medication would be automatically pumped into her body. Although this particular drug made her nauseous and uncomfortable, she completed the walk without a complaint.
“Team Katie” participated in the Ann’s Hope event in 2010 in her honor. Katie is missed by everyone who knew her. Her strength in life and death is remarkable. Her presence is felt even though she is no longer physically with us. She is helping us all get through this difficult time.
In Loving Memory,
John was not only a great husband and father, he was my best friend. He valued family above everything else and it showed in his children’s love and adoration for him. He was an extremely hard working man and worked as a welding supervisor for over 12 years, where he was highly regarded as a great boss. It wasn’t uncommon for him to get calls from guys in his crew wanting advice, knowledge on how to fix something, or just someone to talk to.
When John wasn’t at work, he was hard at work at home. In the summers, he tended his gardens with his little girl at his side. In the winters, he worked on house projects, like building an office for me to study, with our son helping every bit of the way. He loved his car and kept it in perfect condition. John was a person who was always busy.
He loved taking our son on motorcycle rides and going four-wheeling in the mud. He was proud to be able to teach our son welding and how to repair cars. He loved fishing, camping, playing at the beach and cooking. He enjoyed hand blown glass and antiquing.
On April 8, 2009, one year after my brother-in-law passed from cancer, John was told he had stage 3 melanoma. For the next eight months he went through surgery, radiation and interferon. In November 2009, it was discovered that the cancer had spread to his brain. John decided to take some time away from treatment and go on one last family vacation. We took the kids to Florida and spent our anniversary where we got married, on the beach. We also fit in six fun-filled days at Disney. When we got home, he started back with treatment. Despite chemo and radiation, the cancer continued to spread, more spots in his brain, more lymph nodes, vertebrae and lungs. On April 2, 2010, John passed away at home surrounded by his family. His memorial service was April 8, 2010, exactly one year from his diagnosis, he was 42 years old.
John was never angry or cried over his condition or future. He was grateful to all the doctors and nurses that helped him fight for more time with his family. When I told John in March I was going to be doing this event for Ann’s Hope, he was excited and said he wanted to do it too. I know he will be with us in spirit on Sunday.
Written by John’s wife,
How does one begin to describe the life of Travis Goodman? How can you put into words the way he lit up a room every time he walked into one? How his infectious smile, selfless and caring personality, witty sense of humor, and quiet charm were just a few of the many qualities he possessed that made him one of the most amazing individuals you ever met? It’s hard to sum up in a few paragraphs. By telling his story though, we hope to not just honor the life he lived, but to also try and heighten awareness regarding the seriousness of this disease. Absolutely no one should have to battle melanoma.
Travis Potter Goodman was born in Mason City, Iowa, on March 11, 1978, to Neda Amidon and Earl Goodman. As a child, Travis seemed wise beyond his years, often thinking of others before himself and selflessly reaching out to those who needed it. When Travis was seven, there was an instance where he saved his money so he could take his family out for ice cream, but never ordered any for himself. His love of the outdoors started at a young age as well, with archery and cycling being his first activities. One day when he was riding around on his first training-wheeled bike, he asked his dad to “take those other wheels off, they’re in my way.”
Travis moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, in 1983, and became involved and excelled in many school sports including soccer and football, and continued his passion for cycling. He graduated from high school in 1996, and his outdoors interests led him to pursue a degree in Recreation Management from the University of Northern Colorado in 2000. During his college years, Travis worked part-time for two local bicycle shops; this experience in the bike industry, along with his cycling interest, led him to Trek Bicycle.
Travis moved to Madison, Wisconsin, in 2001 where he began employment at Trek. He became an accomplished salesman, winning the Inside Sales Rep of the Year award twice; to date, he’s been the only inside sales rep who’s been awarded this honor more than once. This year, Trek gracefully honored Travis by renaming the Inside Sales Rep of the Year award to “The Goodman Award.” As so many friends from Trek have stated, “His legacy will live on forever at Trek!”
Travis was an avid cyclist and loved the outdoors. He enjoyed exploring new places, hiking in the mountains, ultimate and disc golf, football, and spending time with family and friends. Travis participated in numerous mountain bike races and was very enthusiastic about getting other people outside. He regularly volunteered and participated in cycling events that promoted charitable causes; most notable was his involvement in the Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope. For three years, Travis supported this cycling event featuring cancer community leaders and Lance Armstrong, which trekked from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., to inspire and inform the public about the importance of cancer clinical trials.
Travis lived in Madison for five years, and there he met Christin Kiesner through mutual cycling friends. Their friendship and love grew for each other through their combined love of cycling, hiking, sports, and exploring the outdoors. Together they moved to North Carolina in the summer of 2006, when Travis took a promotion as a Regional Sales Manager of North Carolina. His sales career continued to flourish, and Travis and Christin thoroughly enjoyed exploring their new east coast outdoor playground. It was in North Carolina that Travis asked Christin to marry him, and on September 18, 2008, they married in an intimate outdoor ceremony in Colorado.
In February of 2009, Travis noticed a small pea-sized mole in the middle of his back that was sore and had begun to change colors. The biopsy confirmed that it was melanoma, and after having a wide area around the mole excised, along with lymph nodes under both arms removed, Travis’ melanoma was declared Stage Ib. We had caught it early and future action simply required 3-month check-ups between the dermatologist and oncologist.
However in October of 2009, Travis noticed two quarter-sized bumps, one on each side of the initial mole excision, near his shoulder blades. Biopsies confirmed that the melanoma had returned in two transient lymph nodes. Scans showed the melanoma hadn’t spread outside of those two nodes, so he was declared Stage III, and began a round of high-dose interferon treatment.
In December of 2009, three days after Travis’ last high dose of interferon, we noticed a small bump on his left ribcage. A quick biopsy determined the bump was melanoma, and subsequent scans showed that the melanoma had spread to his lungs, liver, bone, adrenal glands and additional lymph nodes, bumping him to Stage IV. The seriousness of the situation prompted Travis and Christin to move to Colorado to continue treatment surrounded by family and close friends.
From January of 2010 through April of 2010, Travis underwent a series of treatments that consisted of IL-2 immunotherapy, radiation, B-RAF treatment, and chemotherapy. Brain involvement became apparent in May of 2010, and Travis peacefully passed away outdoors surrounded by loved ones on May 26th, 2010. He was 32 years old, and 15 months had elapsed from his initial diagnosis to his passing.
Throughout the course of Travis’ treatments, he never once complained about what he was going through. He handled everything with an unbelievable amount of grace, dignity, strength, character and humor that continues to be an inspiration to all who knew him. There were a number of investigational studies that Travis participated in during his treatments, and every time he signed the documents he would say, “If taking part in these studies helps to prevent others from going through what I’m going through, then I’m in.”
Travis has been memorialized in a number of ways that has left us honored and humbled. In addition to The Goodman Award, “TPG Good Vibrations” bicycle headcaps have been made. Also, through the LiveStrong foundation and the Unity campaign, Travis was honored in this year’s Tour de France. Lance Armstrong rode with an “I Ride for Travis P. Goodman” sticker on his Unity bike during the last week of the Tour.
Travis was an amazing husband, son, brother, nephew, grandson, co-worker and friend that left this world too soon for our liking. His courage, grace, honor, humility, humor and the most animated eyebrows we’ve ever known, will be missed deeply. He will never leave our hearts and through the
love that remains for him, he will live forever. Have a great ride Travis. We’ll see you again someday.?
Ellie was a beautiful person, inside and out. She loved music, traveling, golf, art, movies and her beloved Packers. Most of all, she loved her family and friends. Ellie was the type of person to never put herself first…she always was more concerned about others.
Her Irish smile was always present, a clue to her great sense of humor. She would constantly be quoting some movie or commercial, with the required attempt of an accent, leading to a laugh that would be so very contagious.
Ellie worked at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals for 35 years. During her stint at the Department of Surgery, her knowledge and easy-going attitude further convinced many of the residents that their choice to attend UW was, in fact, correct.
Not much got Ellie upset. She always said life was too short to sweat the small stuff. Ellie was the first to volunteer her time, money and hugs. She didn’t talk a lot, but she always listened.
For many years, Ellie was the sole caretaker of her mother, as other family members were located out of town. She was always accompanying her mother on various adventures, putting her life on hold as needed. Both mother and daughter were capable of lighting up a room, park or bar…
Things began to become difficult about 15 years ago when she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. She was in pain a lot of the time, and began a routine of somewhat regular visits to the emergency room followed by hospital stays. She would return to work, brightening the lives of patients and co-workers, who were unaware of the suffering she had been dealing with. Ellie’s troubles were compounded by the regular visits to the dermatologist that never failed to find some pre-cancerous spots that needed treatment. Her susceptible Irish complexion was only one of the reasons for her diligence regarding the dermatology visits. Her older brother Steve had succumbed to melanoma at the age of 33.
Ellie was treated for lentigo melanoma on her face. She had a large portion of her cheek removed, or as she described it, “half a facelift.” Despite the extreme pain, she never complained and carried on as usual.
In May of 2009, coughing up blood warranted another trip to the doctor where a CT scan showed stage 4 melanoma in her lungs and liver. Tears replaced her usual stoic attitude as the timeline was listed as 6 to 9 months. The memory of her brother’s battle with cancer and the uphill battle she was about take had to be overwhelming. Ellie continued to fight, undergoing chemo and radiation, doing everything possible to hold back “the beast.” We were all asking “why her?” while she would just continue her struggle, without ever questioning her predicament.
The melanoma spread to her bones, pancreas and finally, brain. The onslaught of fractures, fevers and headaches never stopped her from believing she was going to beat it. Her strength and determination was so inspiring.
Ellie proved her toughness when she survived a full 12 months before passing at home, with close friends and family. It was a difficult year, but we are all better people because of her.
Ellie was the most wonderful sister and friend. It was such an honor to share our lives with her.
“We love you and miss you everyday…but we know you are not in pain anymore…we also know that we will be laughing with you again”
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