To those who met her, Rene McCoy was thoughtful, driven, empathetic, and always liked things organized. To her family and friends, she was an educator and a kind-hearted person who was feisty about her passions.
Her love for nature and science and her desire to figure out “how things worked” influenced her to study biology at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, where she fell in love with Brian McCoy while she was working at Telemark Resort in Cable, Wisconsin one summer (he was visiting on a tennis vacation from his home in the Twin cities).
As a mother, wife, and special education teacher, she thought anyone could do great things if they believed in themselves, and she always put other people first—especially children and animals (she was always the go-to pet sitter in the neighborhood).
Rene was happiest when she and her family were doing something active. Running road races and being outdoors was her greatest passion, after her family and helping others. A typical day for her included working with her students, tending to her flowers, going on walks or a run, talking to the kids in the neighborhood, and making a meal and sitting down with her family to talk about their days.
Even through her own cancer treatments, she knew she wanted to help others dealing with the disease. When she was asked what her friends could do after she passed away, she told them her wish was to fund cancer research for improved cancer treatment options and uncovering factors that contribute to cancer.
That wish became a reality, and the Rene and Brian McCoy Cancer Recovery Research Monarch Fund was created to provide support for students who are passionate about researching cancer.