BELLEVUE — When Robin Evernham was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and was told she had only a year to live, she immediately thought of others fighting the same battle.
The Bellevue native spent that last year of her life establishing a charity to help support those in their journey to conquer the disease. In her last few months, she created a charm that she hoped would become a symbol of hope.
"She wanted to help others," said Evernham's aunt, Becky Daniele of Bellevue. "She was a leader in all that she did throughout her life, ... and battling cancer was no exception."
Robin, a 1996 graduate of Newport Central Catholic High School, earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky and a law degree from the University of Louisville. She met her husband, Scott Evernham, while in law school, and the two married, settled in Evansville, Ind., and had two girls, Mora and Lucia.
The couple's life changed drastically when Robin Evernham was diagnosed with cancer in August 2010. Doctors initially thought it was ovarian cancer, but further testing determined that the cancer probably originated elsewhere in her body.
Evernham identified with women who were battling ovarian cancer, however, and she set out to help.
When friends in Evansville held a fund-raising event, Rockin' 4 Robin, the mother of two started the Robin's Nest Charitable Fund, dedicated to supporting women across the nation battling the disease.
Evernham hoped that the charity would help provide women with the money necessary to help pay their mortgages or other expenses, or simply take one more vacation with their families, Scott Evernham said.
"Along our travels to different medical centers, Robin met a lot of women fighting cancer," he said. "Her ultimate goal was to get to a point where we could set up our own foundation that would help families battling cancer."
In the final months of her life, Robin worked with a jeweler in Evansville to design a robin's egg-shaped charm that she hoped would become a symbol of "hope and light" for those with the disease. "She was an incredible young woman," Robin's mother, Debbie Fugate, said of her daughter. "She was so strong ... and such a giver."
Robin died Sept. 10, almost a year from her diagnosis. She was 33. The night before, Robin hosted a birthday celebration for her two girls in her hospital room. Mora turned 5 in October, and Lucia turned 3 in November.
Her grieving family takes comfort in continuing her work, Fugate said. Her loved ones will continue to raise money for her charity and continue Evernham's vision of helping those who are battling the disease that took her life.
Robin's mother, and sisters, Traci Nestheide and Jamie Keipert, are planning both a fund-raiser in March and a 5K run in the summer. Both events will support the Robin's Nest Charitable Fund — and honor Robin's memory.
A scholarship in her name, the Robin Fugate Evernham Leadership Scholarship, was established at Newport Central Catholic High School.
Robin's EGG (Expanding God's Glory) of Hope and Light charm is being sold at Diamond Exchange in Cold Spring and Cleves and Lonnemann Jewelers in Bellevue. Part of the proceeds benefit Robin's charity.
For more information about the Robin's Nest Charitable Fund, which was set up through the Vanderburgh Community Foundation, go to Vanderburghcommunityfoundation.org.
"Robin had a vision of what her foundation could become, ... and all the people it could help," said Nestheide, of Fort Mitchell. "We're all committed to continuing her work."