Kimberly Ann Casamassima
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Kimberly Ann Casamassima, of Millstone Township, passed away on Thursday, July 18, 2013, after a long battle with breast cancer. Born in Johnstown, PA on Aug. 7, 1964, she was preceded in death by her parents, Nick and Barbara Gail Kawchak (formerly Mehall). She married Mathew Casamassima on June 8, 1991 and moved to Ocean Grove. Kim is survived by her two children, Jessica, 18, and Joseph, 14, as well as her three siblings, David Bruce Kawchak and Dana Null, of Lock Haven, PA, and Dr. Tammy Haslett, of Johnstown, PA. She is also survived by her nieces and nephews, Alex Null, Nick Null, Carter Null, Will Haslett, Ben Haslett, Gordie Severino, Alex Severino, and Emma Severino.
Kim received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown as well as a Master's of Science in computers science from University of Pennsylvania. She was employed as a software engineer by AT&T, Compaq, and Hewlett-Packard until 2005, before devoting the rest of her life to family and community service. She was a member of the Shade Tree Commission, Millstone Twp. Women's Club, Millstone Twp. Fire Ladies Auxiliary, and the Monmouth County Master Gardeners.
Kim was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and then again in 2005. In 2008, Kim was diagnosed with Stage IV, or metastatic, breast cancer. She immediately devoted herself to researching the incurable disease, attending conferences, visiting doctors across the country, and volunteer work. She worked on the hotlines for the American Cancer Society, SHARE, and Young Survival Coalition where she shared her knowledge and experiences of coping with MBC with others encountering similar circumstances. She was also active with the South Jersey Breast Cancer Coalition, Metastatic Breast Cancer Network (MBCN), Reach for Recovery, and Breast Cancer Resource Center. She served as a team leader for the National Breast Cancer Coalition where she led a group of activists to meet with NJ senators and congressmen in the annual Lobby Day in Washington DC. In 2009, she and Jessica worked with MBCN to have Oct. 13th declared Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. She and Jessie again met with legislators on Capitol Hill in May 2012.
Kim tried not to live a life defined solely by her disease. She enjoyed going on long bike rides, volunteering at her children's schools, tending to her garden, baking for friends, and spending days cruising the Barnegat Bay.
Viewing will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday, July 21 at Peppler Funeral Home in Allentown. Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated 10 a.m. Monday, July 22 at Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Millstone Township. Anyone who has been involved in organizations with Kim, such as those listed above, is encouraged to wear their uniforms. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for any donations to be made out to South Jersey Breast Cancer Coalition, 78 South White Horse Pike, Berlin, NJ 08009.
Peppler Funeral Home - Allentown
114 South Main Street
Allentown, NJ 08501
Published in Asbury Park Press on July 20, 2013