Catherine “Cathy” Diana Travis McClain graduated from Doddridge County High School in 1971 and from Salem College, now Salem International University, in 1973 where she obtained her Associate Degree in Nursing. She was employed for twenty-four years by the Doddridge County Health Department as a public health nurse, and during that time she also worked at the Doddridge County Senior Citizens for fifteen years.
Cathy was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2003. Even through months of clinical trials and chemotherapy, she continued working and taking care of others. After four years of what appeared to be remission, Cathy’s ovarian cancer was discovered again, and it had spread to many of her other organs. Again, she underwent extensive surgery and months of chemotherapy. She continued to work, taking care of anyone and everyone who needed her, but now, at a little slower pace. Her determination to deal with the side effects of chemotherapy, to continue to work, and to fight this terminal illness was an inspiration to everyone who knew her.
“Through it all, Cathy always had a smile on her face and acted as if nothing was wrong,” said Debbie Davis, Cathy’s friend. “She refused to give up and fought to the very end. Cathy would talk about how she had to get better and that all she wanted was to ‘be well enough to get back to work’. She was a remarkable woman who will never be forgotten. In her final days, the idea of establishing a scholarship fund in her name was discussed with Cathy and she loved the idea and even decided what it should be called.”
Cathy passed in January 2008 after a courageous battle. Shortly after her passing, the Cathy McClain Nursing Scholarship was formed with support from Ms. Davis and the Doddridge County CEOs. The scholarship is part of the Foundation’s Doddridge County regional affiliate collection of funds and provides support to a Doddridge County resident, who is a graduating senior or a previous graduate of Doddridge County High School, and who intends to be a full-time student attending a college or university in West Virginia pursing a degree in nursing or related field.