Tillman scholar cares for cancer patients in Seattle area

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Kate Hough's love for nursing lead her back to school to become a nurse practitioner in 2015. (Source: Kate Hough) Kate Hough's love for nursing lead her back to school to become a nurse practitioner in 2015. (Source: Kate Hough)
Kate Hough went back to school while juggling the full-time demands of motherhood. Kate, her husband and their three boys live outside Seattle. (Source: Kate Hough) Kate Hough went back to school while juggling the full-time demands of motherhood. Kate, her husband and their three boys live outside Seattle. (Source: Kate Hough)
Kate Hough's husband spent 15 years with the Marine Corps including four combat tours. (Source: Kate Hough) Kate Hough's husband spent 15 years with the Marine Corps including four combat tours. (Source: Kate Hough)
Kate Hough loves coming back to Tempe for Pat's Run each year. She says the energy at the run is truly amazing! (Source: Kate Hough) Kate Hough loves coming back to Tempe for Pat's Run each year. She says the energy at the run is truly amazing! (Source: Kate Hough)
TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Kate Hough is a loving nurse, devoted wife and busy mom to three boys. She does it all while also being a Tillman Scholar!

“Being a part of the Tillman Foundation is definitely inspiring and motivating. It’s kind of the fuel that feeds my fire,” Hough said.

Hough’s husband, Ryan, spent 15 years with the Marine Corps including four combat tours.

“I feel extremely proud to be a nurse and extremely proud to be a military spouse,” Kate said.

When Kate went back to school in 2015 to become a nurse practitioner, she knew she needed help paying for it.

“I did a search for scholarships and there were a lot that just excluded me as a military spouse, but something so unique with the Pat Tillman Foundation was they honored the service of a military spouse,” Kate said.

Kate graduated from the University of Washington last month with high honors and no debt, thanks to the Tillman Foundation.

“It’s more than the scholarship. It’s a network of great, motivational, inspiring people,” Kate said.

Kate is making a difference in the Seattle area where she’s working with cancer patients and their families during difficult and challenging times.

“Both my grandmothers had cancer, one had breast cancer, one ovarian cancer. It was during a time with breast cancer that women just did not really talk about it. We didn’t have pink ribbons and all the support that we do right now,” Kate said.

The mom of three just landed a cancer nurse practitioner job with Kaiser Permanente.

“I see there’s such a need for better oncology care, better cancer care and not only early detection, but prevention, acute treatment and now cancer survivorship,” Kate said.

Even though she recently completed her program, her time with the foundation is far from over.

“Now that I’m finished with the degree, the relationship with the foundation doesn’t end. I think they continue to support you to achieve your goals,” Kate said.

Her goal this week is to cross the finish line at Pat’s Run with her husband.

“We look forward to it, the energy is palpable. For me, I get motivated, it kind of restores that sense of hope and excitement for the future,” Kate said.

When the race is done, Kate will head back home to advocate and care for countless cancer patients, serving the community just like Pat did.

“I feel like being a nurse is in my blood. It’s a great profession that allowed me to work and continue my passion while my husband served in the Marine Corps,” Kate said.

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Kylee CruzArizona native Kylee Cruz joined CBS 5 News as a reporter in August 2014. You can catch her reporting every morning on CBS 5's "Wake Up Arizona!" and 3TV's "Good Morning! Arizona." She's also a fill-in weather anchor.

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Kylee Cruz

Before working in Phoenix, Kylee spent three years reporting for KXLY in Spokane, WA During her time in the Inland Northwest, Kylee reported on a wide variety of topics from winter snowstorms to summer wildfires, and regularly filled in on the anchor desk. Kylee grew up in Yuma and graduated summa cum laude from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. While in college, Kylee covered her first big story in Tucson when Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot. She was selected as the Cronkite School’s Outstanding Graduate and was even the university’s Homecoming Queen her senior year. Growing up, Kylee always knew she wanted to be a reporter. When she was just 6, her neighbor started calling her "Cub Reporter" because she asked so many questions. That curiosity has only grown over the years! When Kylee’s not reporting, she loves traveling, home decorating and trying out unique restaurants. She’s a bit of a foodie! Kylee’s always looking for a good story. If you have an idea, email her at kylee.cruz@cbs5az.com.

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