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Kim Kardashian & Sister Kourtney Honor Late Father Robert Kardashian on a Special Anniversary

The Kardashian kids’ late father Robert Kardashian is on their mind for a special reason today. The family issued a statement on Thursday to not only celebrate the man they’ve hailed as their hero but also to recognize the hard work of healthcare workers on a major milestone in the Kardashian world — it’s been one year since the UCLA Robert G. Kardashian Center for Esophageal Health opened its doors.

It’s undoubtedly a bittersweet day for the Kardashians. However, they’re using their platform to raise awareness for the disease that took their dad from them. Robert passed away on Sept. 30, 2003, less than eight weeks after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He was 59 at the time. “More than ever, we are thinking about the medical staff on the front lines during this pandemic and thankful for everyone who risks their lives each day for others,” said Kourtney Kardashian, 40, Kim Kardashian-West, 39, Rob Kardashian, 33, and Khloé Kardashian, 35, in a joint statement issued on Thursday.

“This month is also an important time for us as we remember our father and shine a light on Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month,” they continued. “We’d like to thank the dedicated staff of skilled doctors and nurses that work at the UCLA Robert G. Kardashian Center for Esophageal Health.”

Kardashian-West took to Instagram to share the same statement, adding a photo of herself and sister Kourtney with Dr. Eric Esrailian — the doctor of digestive diseases who started the center named after the late Kardashian patriarch.

The photo feels particularly salient in light of the anniversary, of course, but also the work that Dr. Esrailian is currently doing. In addition to running the center, the longtime friend of the Kardashian family has been raising awareness and funding for UCLA Health to purchase coronavirus (COVID-19) supplies.

Before you go, you’ll want to hear these inspiring stories from celebrity women who beat cancer. 

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