Remembering Some Dear Friends

The success of CFFNM is the result of the incredible people who support our work and community. A few special members of our community passed away recently. Today, we want to take a moment to honor and celebrate them. They are dearly missed.


Kit Herrod

Volunteerism and community engagement were always a part of Kit Herrod’s DNA. When she moved to Santa Fe a few years ago, Kit Herrod naturally sought out an opportunity to support patients. We were very fortunate to soon count her as one of our Cancer Foundation volunteers. She was knowledgeable about cancer and how it affected both patients and their families; she understood what many of them needed in the way of support and assistance. Our volunteer program offered Kit an opportunity to use the skills she had developed over her professional and volunteer careers to serve our northern New Mexican communities. Kit eventually became a member of our board as well, bringing knowledge and enthusiasm to the development of our patient services, including a vision for a future Foundation Resource Center.
This was similar to the work Kit did while living in Seattle and volunteering at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center stem cell transplant program. Patients and families – from around the nation and the world – came to Seattle for treatment and relied on people like Kit to provide support, local knowledge, and kindness. Kit excelled in this role and was soon asked to join the board of the “Hutch,” where she served for several years before accepting a series of executive positions in development, outreach, and external affairs at the center. During this time, she witnessed how severely cancer impacted not only the patient, but their family and friends as well. Kit understood how much support many of these patients and their loved ones needed. Kit passed away from complications of intestinal cancer on December 18, 2022 surrounded by close friends and family.
John “Obie” Oberhausen
John “Obie” Oberhausen was a licensed massage therapist and began volunteering with CFFNM 14 years ago. After a bout with cancer when he was 50 years old, Obie offered to give foot massages to patients while they were receiving chemotherapy and a new program was born. Patients loved it. The massage therapy program at the Cancer Center has continued to grow; Obie can be credited for starting and developing this valuable program.
In addition to providing massages, Obie was a hardworking and loyal volunteer. For years, Obie co-organized the Cancer Foundation’s Holiday Gift Basket Event: more than 50 in-need cancer patients and their families are the recipients of large holiday gift baskets containing fresh and canned food, household items, books, and more, as well as presents for the children. The planning, preparation, and delivery of the baskets to patients in Santa Fe, nearby Pueblos, Las Vegas, and surrounding areas requires a great deal of coordination and effort, which Obie generously provided. He also helped with the annual Sweetheart Auction and other fundraisers and engaged in patient support, advocacy, and mentoring as a cancer survivor himself.
Before coming to Santa Fe, Obie dedicated 20 years of service to our country as a Navy Chief Petty Officer. Afterwards, he promptly proceeded to complete the entire Appalachian Trail, start to finish, despite having no prior hiking experience. Inspired by this adventure, he moved on to the Continental Divide Trail in New Mexico. The trail proved too isolating for Obie’s outgoing social nature and he concluded his trip in Cuba, New Mexico. In 2002, Obie met Nancy Lehrhaupt and they moved to Santa Fe, where they eventually married.  
Obie was also one of the founders of the Cactus Rescue Project, a group dedicated to saving an endangered New Mexico cactus called the Santa Fe Cholla.
After a full and wonderful life, Obie passed away peacefully at home on Christmas Eve 2022. There will be a Celebration of his Life on June 4th at 11am at the El Dorado Community Center where he and his grassroots group, the Cactus Rescue Project, planted a beautiful Cactus Demonstration Garden. Obie is deeply missed by all of his friends at the Cancer Foundation.
Steven Chance

Steven Chance first learned of the challenge rural communities face with regard to health care in northern New Mexico when his wife, Natalie Agraz, accepted a job in Abiquiu. The couple soon became familiar with the many barriers that prevent patients from seeking and obtaining care, and the disastrous consequences. A discussion with Bill and Jane Buchsbaum (a long-time CFFNM board member and volunteer, respectively) led Steve to the Cancer Foundation for New Mexico. Steve, who had never lived in even a semi-rural setting before, was touched by the organization’s recognition of the problem and active response. He was recruited to the board and actively participated in all activities. Steven was especially engaged in our fundraising efforts, including the Sweetheart Auction and the Supper Club. He cared deeply about our patients and was passionate about ensuring they all were able to receive quality care.

Steven grew up in Pennsylvania and practiced law. He worked as an Associate and later Partner of Dechert, LLP in Philadelphia, and then served as Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of Teleflex Incorporated. He and his then-partner, Natalie, moved to Santa Fe in 2013. They were subsequently married in Brandywine, Pennsylvania on December 2, 2017. While living in Santa Fe, Steve served as a volunteer for several non-profits and was a member and mentor of SCORE. In addition to serving on CFFNM’s board of directors, he was also a member of the board of the Santa Fe Council on International Relations (now Global Santa Fe). Steven died on January 28, 2023 after a short illness. He is greatly missed.