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from Mike DiMauro at The Day: UConn loses its first mom

RuthAnn, stricken with the disease nearly 20 years ago, took her fight public. She engendered immeasurable publicity for breast cancer awareness.

But what she did most was humanize a program that would develop the most maternal and paternal fans in sports. She was its first mom. It was her daughter that became everyone else’s. This would become a program staple. Soon, the fans felt the same about Sue and Shea and Svet . and on the band played.

You always felt like you knew RuthAnn. Even if you didn’t. She was the familiar face in the crowd, the mom of this extraordinary player. And when you met her, you learned she was as sweet and comforting as you hoped.

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Damn, damn, damn.

RuthAnn Lobo, 67, Loses Battle With Cancer

Cursed by an unexpected fate yet blessed with the platform it provided her, RuthAnn Lobo lived the last 17 years of her life determined to make her journey a symbol of discovery and inspiration to others.

“My first experience being with cancer survivors was six weeks after my last chemotherapy treatment in 1994, at the Race for the Cure in New Britain,” Lobo said in 2008. “One of the volunteers asked me if I wanted to wear a survivor’s hat and I wondered if I qualified. But when 600 women in little pink hats come forward, you feel a burden lightened because you see you are not alone.”

If you are so moved, please consider honoring Ruth Ann by making a contribution to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.

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