OBITUARY: Karen Brown

A CHAMPION of fund-raising in the Hunter Region has lost her battle with breast cancer at the age of 48.

Hunter Medical Research Institute development officer Karen Brown died on Saturday,  more than a decade after she was diagnosed with the disease.

Ms Brown joined the institute in 2004 and continued to work there until early this month.

Between 2004 and 2010 the amount of funds distributed to researchers jumped from $600,000 to $1.6million under Ms Brown’s watch.

Ms Brown built her reputation for philanthropy with the Newcastle Permanent, where she worked in community relations and foundation activities between 1997 and 2004.

Long-time colleague David Kett said at Newcastle Permanent Ms Brown successfully worked on community sponsorships, breast cancer awareness and community health initiatives.

‘‘I always found her to be a fantastic personally and professionally,’’ Mr Kett said. ‘‘She was a lovely person, friend and mother and wife.’’

Ms Brown was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002.

Research institute director Professor Michael Nilsson said she brought with her a deep understanding of the donor perspective and fully appreciated what the act of giving meant.

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