She was born at Luke Air Force base and has spent most of her life in the valley of the sun between Tempe, Surprise and Mesa.  Karen is a substitute high school teacher for the Buckeye school district. In her free time she enjoys swimming laps, working out at the YMCA, and volunteering to teach people to read through the Department of Labor.

Karen first found the YCMA around five years ago when she was living in Mesa.  When she moved to the west side she started coming to the Northwest and Southwest Valley YMCAs. When, meeting with a personal trainer for a welcome workout, she learned about the benefits of swimming. After expressing concerns about her swimming ability, her trainer suggested she just walk laps in the pool. After many months of walking Karen began to try different styles of swimming strokes beginning with sidestroke. With a little bit of difficulty she was swimming, but Cecilia, a swim instructor and lifeguard at Northwest Valley YMCA, noticed Karen and asked her how she would like to try swim lessons to help her begin swimming laps. A few lessons later, Karen was swimming the front crawl. Karen still swims the front crawl at Southwest Valley most mornings and during the summer at Northwest Valley.