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Debbie Soares - Founding President

I initially came to Alaska to visit my family for a few months.  Two months into my visit, I started dating a great guy that I ended up marrying and I now consider myself Alaskan as I’ve lived here over half my life.  I am a mother of three great kids and our world turned upside down when our daughter was diagnosed with a form of leukemia.

Knowing firsthand the heartache and extreme expenses of having a child with cancer, I can honestly say that we have met some of the best people due to this horrible circumstance.  Six months after diagnosis, another friend said they NEEDED us to meet another family. That family was Darlis and Katie.  Knowing our girls were both battling this horrible disease and around the same age, we just seemed to click perfectly and I’m glad to consider them friends or better yet, family. When asked if I wanted to help assist in another fundraiser for pediatric cancer, I jumped at the chance. Sadly, Katie passed way too soon and in her memory we decided to bring home our fundraising efforts and start Katie’s Handprint.

I have served on numerous boards dealing with my kids’ school and other cancer organizations, but nothing compares to knowing I’m helping other Alaskan families impacted by pediatric cancer. Knowing I am doing a small part to help is immensely fulfilling and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Katie’s Handprint.

Should you have any questions, ideas, comments, or concerns, please contact me at (907) 240-2030 or email