Bea Klier

Bea Klier loves life.  At 93 years old, she continues to pursue new ways to enhance her mind, learn about things that interest her and connect with likeminded friends.  As a scientist who spent two decades at the New York Academy of Sciences, most recently as Education Director, her thirst for learning has taken her to places many of us only dream about:   she’s traveled the world following solar eclipses; explored all the major rivers and railways of the world; and still spends summers studying at Oxford University.  When she returns home to Forest Hills, she often gives talks to community groups   sharing her travel experiences with others.  For Bea, research and learning is what moves us forward, as individuals and as organizations. And sharing is what enriches our life experience.

Like most of us, Bea’s life has had its share of joys and sorrows.  In 2010, Bea contacted the American Lung Association in New York after her only daughter, Karen Kidder, died of Lung Cancer at the age of 65.  Because of her background as a researcher, Bea was amazed to learn that the five-year survival rate for lung cancer was under 16%, lower than many other leading cancers, including colon (64%), breast (89%) and prostate (99%).  In fact, over half of people with lung cancer die within one year of being diagnosed.  It was frustrating for her to learn that despite being the number one cancer killer of both men and women, lung cancer continues to be the least funded in terms of research dollars per death of the four major cancers.  “There aren’t as many ‘faces’ of lung cancer because the survival rate is so low,” said Bea. “I want to hear more stories of survival and I know that our best hope of achieving this is through funding more research.”

So Bea started the Karen Kidder Lung Cancer Research Fund at the American Lung Association in New York, named in honor of the daughter she loved so much.  “She was my star,” said Bea of Karen.  “From the time she was 6 years old, I knew that this child was a natural born leader and that she’d accomplish great things.  And Karen certainly did.  Karen went on to have a 31-year career with McKinsey and Company in New York, starting out as a researcher and working her way up to Partner as Director of Firm Recruiting.  Her friends, family and colleagues remember her work ethic, caring nature and elegance.  They also remember her indefatigable appetite for learning and research; qualities she no doubt inherited from her mother.

Lung cancer may have cut Karen’s life short, but Bea Klier hopes that through the Karen Kidder Lung Cancer Research Fund, other families faced with a lung cancer diagnosis can have greater hope for survival.   No one deserves to die from lung cancer.  By funding research critical to improving survival rates, it is Bea’s hope that more people living full lives as Karen had lived will be able to enjoy them much longer.

Bea started the Karen Kidder Lung Cancer Research Fund with a personal gift of $25,000.  Since then, the fund has grown as a result of her outreach to her family and friends.  Through sharing her story and her kindness with us, she has enriched countless lives and given many hope.  To make a gift to support the American Lung Association in New York and the lifesaving research it funds, click here.

For more information about ways to give to the American Lung Association in New York, contact Jaime Anderson at janderson@alany.org.

Bea  Klier wishes to thank all those who have made a gift in Karen’s memory and have dedicated themselves to helping increase the survival rate for lung cancer.