Faith Fancher, a television reporter who transformed her diagnosis of breast cancer into an opportunity to raise awareness about the disease, died Sunday. She was 53.
Fancher was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997. She disclosed her disease that year during a three-part series on KTVU television, where she was a reporter. She later founded the organization Friends of Faith, which raises money for cancer research and for help to low-income women suffering from the disease.
During her six-year battle with cancer, Fancher often discussed her condition publicly, hoping to raise money and increase awareness about the disease.
Fancher graduated from the University of Tennessee, and then began her career in broadcasting at WBIR-TV in Knoxville, Tenn. She later worked at National Public Radio and the Cable News Network in Washington, D.C., before moving to KTVU, in Oakland, in 1983.
In 2000, she was presented with a Certificate of Recognition by the California State Senate. She was named the Journalist of the Year by the Bay Area Black Media Coalition in 1993, and was named one of the Outstanding Young Women in America in 1979.
Fancher is survived by her husband, William Drummond, a journalism professor at the University of California at Berkeley; a stepson and stepdaughter; a sister, two stepsisters and two half-sisters.