The Light Up the Room Foundation was established in memory of Karen P. Rust, RN, BSN, OCN. Karen dedicated her professional life to caring for cancer patients and their families but, sorrowfully, fell victim to melanoma cancer in August 2009.
In a remarkable way, Karen had the ability to make those who came into contact with her feel better. She had an inexplicable ability to simply brighten up her patients day. The Light Up the Room Foundation was named because of this special impact that Karen left on patients, professional colleagues, and, family and friends-her ability to "Light Up the Room". Karen achieved this because of her strong faith, and by fostering a relationship of trust and comfort, but, most importantly, her vibrant and warm smile.
Karen’s story is one of strength, faith, perseverance and compassion in spite of her life's challenges. Not only was Karen a victim of cancer, but she was also a survivor of childhood emotional, physical, and sexual abuse lasting through her teen years. Most people would not have been able to persevere through these awful experiences, but Karen was able to gain something from it, using her empathy towards human suffering to become a passionate medical practitioner. Her story is about survival and thriving given life's unfair circumstances. The Light Up the Room Foundation will keep Karen’s story alive because we, her family, believes the message is important.
Using Karen's story as a guide, the Light Up the Room Foundation will provide support for abused children, victims of cancer, and cancer research. Please help us to continue to Light Up the Room for those children and cancer patients in need so that Karen's good work may continue.
Tiffany (Rust) Strong, Brandon & Tom Rust
Light Up the Room Foundation
"Angels are dazzling expressions of God's love for his children. Not only do they bring hope to the weary, but they are always pointing upward, promising that at the end of life's journey, they will be there to carry us to that greatest of all mysteries, the bliss and splendor of our heavenly home." - Anne Rice