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Kim Marie Healy, advocate for chronically ill Died Jan. 28, 2006

Kim Marie Healy of Ballston Lake, a longtime Western New Yorker who was an advocate for people dealing with chronic disease, died Jan. 28 in Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass. She was 49.

Born Kim Benzin in Buffalo, she was raised in Cheektowaga. She graduated from Maryvale High School and earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Buffalo State College.

Diagnosed with diabetes when she was 9, she spent her life educating people about managing their health care and improving their quality of life.

Mrs. Healy was a volunteer and board member with the National Kidney Foundation of Western New York from 1990 to 1995. Her work there included establishing and serving as chairwoman of the Patient and Community Services Committee and advocating for organ donation legislation, which eventually led to the New York State Organ and Tissue Donor Registry. The foundation honored her with its Gift of Life Award in 1996.

She moved to the Albany area in 1996 and continued her work there. In 2005, the Northeastern chapter of the National Kidney Foundation presented her its Board of Directors Award for her volunteerism and advocacy work.

Mrs. Healy also served on the executive committee of the End Stage Renal Disease Network of New York State, as well as its Medical Review Board, and as chairwoman of the Patient Advisory Council Committee for Albany and Upper Hudson Valley.

She recently was named to the Community Advisory Board for the Prevention Research Center at the University of Albany. She also was a member of the board of directors of the Adirondack Area Network.

She is survived by her husband, James; a sister, Linda S. Dougherty of Snyder; and two brothers, Richard J. Benzin of Lackawanna and Keith J. Benzin of Richmond, Va.

A memorial service will be held in the spring.


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