• Debi Durham reveals cancer diagnosis

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    October 12, 2017
    Last month, she was in Israel for more than a week on a trade mission with Gov. Kim Reynolds. The month before that, she helped shepherd through nearly $20 million of tax incentives to land an Apple Inc. data center outside of Des Moines.

    All the while, Debi Durham, one of Iowa’s top development officials, withheld from the public something she had confided in her family: In addition to helping make the big deals, she was coping with cancer.

    In an interview Wednesday with the Journal, Durham — Iowa’s economic development director and a Sioux City resident — for the first time publicly shared her story as a cancer survivor.

    It started with a diagnosis in February.

    “I called the doctor and said, ‘I think there is something wrong. I need to get in,’” she recalled. “When I told them my symptoms, they concurred it was something that couldn’t be put off. I got a call less than a week after that it was cancer ... I knew it was not going to be a good diagnosis, so I was somewhat prepared for it. But I have to tell you, I’m a person of faith. I’ve had perfect peace from Day 1 on this cancer journey.”

    She is happy to report the eight-month battle with uterine cancer is nearing an end.


    Debi Durham, Executive Director
    (515) 242-4720