2 lawmakers lose moms to same disease, now fighting for cure

State lawmakers fight to find a cure for ovarian cancer in memory of their mothers.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Two state lawmakers are fighting against a deadly disease in memory of their mothers.

When State Rep. Ken King, R-Canadian, and Kyle Kacal, R-College Station, were sworn in as freshman legislators for the 2013 session both their moms were present.

“My mother Linda was the glue that held our family together,” said Kacal.

She did not know that King’s mom, Paulette, who was sitting close by on the House floor, was also battling ovarian cancer.

“She came to the inauguration and the next day she went to Houston and received a clean bill of health from MD Anderson,” said King.

Kacal’s mother died six months later from the disease. King buried his mother a short time later.

“By her birthday on March 4 she was re-diagnosed, and by September she was dead,” said King.

Both lawmakers believe more early screening to detect ovarian cancer could have saved their mother’s lives.

“My mother was a very strong, very independent woman to say the least and she absolutely despised pity parties,” said King.

For that reason the men turned turned their loss into a win. They formed kk125, a nonprofit also inspired by Andrea Sloan. Her life was also cut short by the disease.

Their first goal was to help more women with early detection, since diagnosing the ovarian cancer can be difficult and is often not discovered until it’s too late.

More recently, the organization’s mission has expanded to raising money for research.

“We’ve got to find a cure,” said Kacal.

Through generous donations, they been able to donate $50,000 to M.D. Anderson in Houston. The lawmakers also want to help cut down political bureaucracy that can get in the way of saving someone’s life.

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