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Tuesday, October 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Photo blog

Behind The Lens

Covering the Susan G Komen Race of the Cure is always very emotional. I photographed Valerie Stichweh and her daughter crossing the finish line together. Two days later I received an email from her. She remembered a photograph that I took of the two of them on a swing at a park in Coeur d'Alene in 2006. What a terrific surprise. Kathy Plonka-Photojournalist-The Spokesman-Review

View a photo gallery of Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.


Hi Kathy,

First of all thanks for capturing one of the greatest moments of our lives yesterday. I almost died last year from cancer. The hardest part about the whole thing was that I feared I wouldn’t live to raise my daughter or watch her grow. I have a very aggressive form of breast cancer. I’m in remission. My doctors will follow me for the next ten years.  These photos mean more to me than you can ever possibly know. I didn’t realize it tell this morning that you also took a photo of my daughter and I Sept.28, 2006.  You were planning on doing a different photo that day you said but saw my daughter and I on the swing in the park. My daughter was 18 months. The captioned said a joy to be holding. We in both photo’s were wearing pink then and now which is the color for breast cancer. I just wanted to let you know how truly special your photography is and very personally touched our lives. God Bless You!!!!

Many Thanks, Valerie Stichweh

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Kathy Plonka
Kathy Plonka joined The Spokesman-Review in 1998. She currently is a photojournalist in the Photo Department covering daily news in Spokane and Idaho.

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