WASHINGTON – AUGUST 12, 2009: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) presents the Medal of Freedom to Kara Kennedy on behalf of her father, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA), during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House August 12, 2009 in Washington, DC. Obama presented the medal, the highest civilian honor in the United States, to 16 recipients during the ceremony. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
BOSTON (CBS/AP) – Kara Kennedy Allen, the only daughter of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, has died.
The 51-year-old Kennedy passed away after suffering a heart attack Friday evening following her daily workout at a Washington-area health club.
Her brother Patrick Kennedy told The Associated Press on Saturday that “she’s with dad.” Their father, Senator Ted. Kennedy died in 2009.
Kara was a lung cancer survivor and her cancer had been in remission since 2003.
Patrick Kennedy says he thinks his sister’s cancer treatment “took quite a toll on her and weakened her physically.” He says “her heart gave out.”
The physical toll of treatment can be extreme, in spite of healthy eating and exercise:
He also says his sister loved to exercise.
The Kennedy Institute issued a statement Saturday on Kara’s death.
“Kara was a warm and caring person. Her children were the light and joy of her life,” it read. “Her magnificent strength in her successful battle with lung cancer was a quiet inspiration to all us and provided her family and fellow patients with hope. Kara was loved and cherished by the entire Kennedy family… We will all greatly miss Kara’s energy and commitment to the Institute and her generous spirit.”
Little is known, relatively, regarding the toll that emotional battles take upon the physical. Great debaters and those who champion causes that require much emotional energy can wreck health. See John Douglas' work regarding the physical toll that emotionally draining work took on his health earlier in his career. Many marveled at Winston Churchill's ability to withstand the emotional debates he engaged in for many years.