Robyn Raphael named Woman of the Year

Award presented by 4th District Assemblywoman Beth Gaines
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Childhood cancer advocate Robyn Raphael was named 2012 Woman of the Year for the 4th Assembly District during a ceremony at the State Capitol Monday.

Assemblywoman Beth Gaines presented the award in recognition of Raphael's contribution to the community. Raphael founded the Keaton Raphael Memorial in 1998 to raise money for childhood cancer research and help local families battling cancer.

"Every day, Robyn works tirelessly to help those in need and is making a difference locally and reaching out nationally to find a cure for childhood cancer," Gaines said. "I am pleased to present Robyn with this most deserving honor."

The nonprofit organization started as a tribute to Raphael's 4-year-old son, Keaton, who passed away from neuroblastoma in 1997. As she gathered information on cancer during her son's battle, she was shocked to learn how often pediatric cancer occurs and how little money is spent on research. 

Her organization has now raised nearly $3 million for pediatric research and patient care programs though its St. Baldrick's Foundation partnership.

"I am very honored to be chosen as the (Woman of the Year)," Raphael said. "Since relocating to the Roseville community nearly 16 years ago, I have been incredibly blessed to live in such a caring community ... My passion to advocate and assist children with cancer and their families in our community is a privilege."

The Woman of the Year ceremony started in 1987 to celebrate California's extraordinary women and commemorate Women's History Month.

~ Sena Christian