Our Founding Story

In 1960 Kathleen Kilgour Fraundorfer arrived in Hamilton with her husband and two young children after emigrating from South Africa.  She took up a position at Ruakura Research Station as a Laboratory Technician but had always dreamed of pursuing an academic career.

She was accepted in to Hamilton Teachers College as an adult student and, in 1962, graduated top of her class with academic excellence. She was a determined woman who became an exceptional teacher.

She taught fulltime while raising her children and continuing her studies extramurally at Massey University.  She transferred to Waikato University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1970 followed by a Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) in 1971.  She transferred to Auckland University to complete her Doctorate of Philosophy in English Literature. Something drove her to work at an incredible pace and she was in the process of completing her doctoral thesis when she began to feel unwell.

In November 1973 she was diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer and was given a poor prognosis.  She was visited by the Oncology team and was told her treatment would be limited to palliative care. At that point in time her driving motivation was to complete her thesis.  Her Oncology team gave her some options but she persuaded them to take her on for both Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy. They suggested this could be tough and she may not survive but on the other hand it could give her time. Kathleen made it very clear to her family that she was eternally grateful to the medical team that gave her a chance to fulfill her strong desire to complete her thesis.  She graduated with a PhD in English Literature on 10 May 1974.  Kathleen died at the end of  January 1975.

The Kathleen Kilgour Centre opened its doors in Tauranga in October 2014 bringing world class Radiotherapy treatment, services and support to the people in the Bay of Plenty and beyond.  Kathleen’s two children, Mark Fraundorfer and Nell Dawson, were instrumental in bringing the Centre to life and remain closely involved in every aspect of the business. 

The naming of the Kathleen Kilgour Centre recognises there is a personal journey that all patients have, and is also recognition of the amazing team of Radiation Therapy specialist clinicians that give those patients the chance of survival and fulfilling their dreams and aspirations.  Kathleen's principles of compassion, care and hope are at the core of the Centre’s treatment philosophy and all patients can be assured of receiving the highest standard of service and commitment.  

KKC sets a new standard in New Zealand with its innovative design, cutting edge technology, and personalised patient care.  Treatment is available to public and privately funded patients. 

Please ask your GP or Specialist for a referral to our facility, or just give us a call on (07) 9297995.

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