Meet the 2024 ProHealth Care Walks for Cancer Ambassadors

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This year's ambassadors, pictured left to right: Steve Nowak; Kathleen Nonnamaker; and Kari Davison                           

Offering words of inspiration to others

The ProHealth Care Foundation has named Kari Davison of Hartland, Kathleen Nonnamaker of Pewaukee, and Steve Nowak of Mukwonago as the 2024 ProHealth Care Walks for Cancer ambassadors. They are inspiring others to support the walks and raise funds for cancer services.

Each ambassador received personalized care from a multidisciplinary team including oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, nurses, nutritionists and a specially trained oncology nurse navigator. Each has a unique perspective on their care journey.

Kari Davison
Kari, 43, was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma in February 2021. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy followed in quick succession. “The cancer diagnosis changed my life and my family's life,” she said.

An avid tulip gardener, kayaker and parent of four who homeschools three of her children, Kari credits her husband, family and care team with getting her back to doing the things she loves.

“My ProHealth oncology team has been amazing,” she said. “I was met with kindness at every blood draw, comfort and privacy during infusions, and support at every appointment. They respected the suffering I was enduring, helped remedy it and helped me find a way to live well through all of this.”

Kari is honored to be chosen as an ambassador and offers a message of hope amidst the struggle. “I have learned to let things go and focus on what is good and lovely,” she said.

Kathleen Nonnamaker
Severe back pain led Kathleen, 64, to seek care in late 2020. Imaging revealed lesions on her spine, ribs and sternum. 

“The words metastatic and cancer were the furthest from my mind,” said Kathleen, who is an athlete. “I just couldn’t wrap my head around the diagnosis of multiple myeloma, a type of cancer that attacks the plasma cells.” She has received a stem cell transplant and is taking part in a clinical trial that includes oral medication and a monthly injection.

“I felt like a celebrity at the UW Health Cancer Center at ProHealth Care,” Kathleen said. “The entire team became like family.”

“Once a month I am monitored by lab work and get to visit with my providers. My care team is amazing. The nurses in the infusion area are like friends to me.”

The center is close to Kathleen’s home, making care highly accessible. The treatments have allowed her to resume daily life much as before.

She asks others to join her on the walks in solidarity and as a way to help support locally based cancer services.

Steve Nowak
Steve, 58, sought care in June 2023 for a lump in his neck and was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma at the base of his tongue. “I had a nagging sense that something was not right,” he said. “I’m glad I followed my intuition.”

While the diagnosis came as a surprise, Steve learned the disease had been discovered at an early stage and was treatable. He received chemotherapy and radiation therapy at the ProHealth cancer care clinics in Mukwonago and Pewaukee through November. He made a point of following every instruction his care team provided.

The compassionate care he received made things more tolerable. “In addition to medical intervention, the team offered humor, a listening ear and endless encouragement — all of which led me to a positive outcome,” Steve said.

He encourages others to walk in support of the Walks for Cancer. “The dollars raised at this event each year allow the cancer care team to perform miracles both large and small,” he said. “I am living proof.” 

The ProHealth Care Walks for Cancer are held each spring to support the work of the ProHealth Care Foundation. Funds raised help support cancer research, cancer center technology, and patient education.

Thanks to our major partners