Lani Luthard, mother, wife, daughter, and strong advocate of breast cancer prevention, died on Thurs., Feb. 5 in San Jose, Calif. She was 51.
After she was diagnosed at 40 with breast cancer, Lani was told by Stanford doctors that she only had a couple of years to live. She sought to change her life to outlive her prognosis, which is how she found the Breast Cancer Fund in 2007.
In the 10 plus years that Lani had breast cancer, she learned many things about the causes of the disease and how one can prevent it from happening in your body or that of a loved one. As her husband André put it: “She left no stone unturned in researching how to prevent breast cancer.” Lani never let anything get in the way of her passion for living a longer, healthier life. She relied heavily on the Breast Cancer Fund for the science to back up her words, and worked tirelessly to create institutional changes, especially within the health care system.
Lani first hosted LUNAFEST, a fundraiser and traveling festival of films by, for, and about women in her home in 2008. The event grew each year and eventually moved to the San Jose Women’s Club. In accordance with her wishes, there will not be a memorial service, but on February 20, LUNAFEST: San Jose Film Festival will be held to raise funds for charities that were important to her. All proceeds will benefit the Breast Cancer Fund, Pathways Hospice and Health Care and the San Jose Woman’s Club Charitable Giving Program.
An eternal optimist, Lani was filled with an endless supply of courage that inspired everyone who met her. Lani will be missed, but her impact on the world around her will be felt for many years into the future.