St. Johns Magazine

Souls of the Beach


by Jennifer Yarbrough

Raising awareness and funds to support appendix cancer research and ultimately finding a cure.

Kate Waidmann

Kate was a wife. She was a pilot. She was a friend. She was a daughter. In the midst of a recurrence of a rare form of cancer, she said that “finding a cure for cancer is like finding one special grain of sand on the beach…the more help the better our chances.” In the midst of her battle, she called on others to help fight for cancer awareness and for a cure. Her husband, Greg Waidmann, carries that message on today as he, and other “Souls of the Beach,” continue to promote awareness and research through their non-profit.

Kate’s Story
Kate Schwikert Waidmann attended Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, played collegiate soccer, and pursued a career in aviation. Being a pilot was more than a profession to her, it was her passion.

In 2012, in her early 30s, Kate was diagnosed with appendix cancer that then spread to her abdomen, her colon, and right kidney. She underwent surgery and chemotherapy and then entered remission. Sadly, the cancer returned in 2014 and she passed away that year. Throughout it all, Kate maintained her positive attitude, her tenacity, and her love for family and others. While in the hospital she, along with her husband Greg, arranged to have stuffed animals delivered to children at a local hospital. They also decided to start a charity to help bring awareness to appendix cancer.