Katherine Bensen, daughter of former Minnesota Rick Nolan, died of lung cancer on Tuesday. She was 46.
Nolan announced his daughter's passing on Facebook. He also shared Bensen’s obituary, most of which she wrote and edited. Bensen lived in Roseville and had four children and a husband.
“As a wife and career woman, Katherine’s reputation preceded her as strong, polished, wicked smart, organized, giving, and beautiful,” the obituary reads.
Bensen had battled lung cancer for more than five years. During that time, she worked on Capitol Hill to advocate for the cancer community.
Bensen wanted to get rid of stigmas behind lung cancer, according to the obituary. She also worked on a team alongside lawmakers to draft the Katherine’s Lung Cancer Early Detection Act of 2020. If passed, the bill would expand early screenings for lung cancer.
During his time in office, Nolan authored multiple provisions calling for more funding for research into lung cancer, including the link between women and lung cancer, according to the Duluth News Tribune.
The obituary asks that memorials be sent to a lung cancer foundation. Bensen’s body will be donated to the Mayo Clinic.
“When I was diagnosed ... I would never have imagined how full my life was, with so much love and support from so many wonderful people. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And remember, whenever you feel down, you are NEVER alone. I am still here and giving you my big hugs,” Bensen wrote in the obituary.