Remembering Hamid

Celebrating Komak's 10th Anniversay

Hamid Maarefi

Hamid Maarefi

As we celebrate Komak reaching a decade of service in the Portland community, we pause to celebrate the man who’s loving spirit inspired friends and family to found this extraordinary organization.

Hamid Maarefi was diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer at the age of 39. His life expectancy was measured in months. His story of love, hope, and courage inspires us. 

True to his optimistic nature, Hamid focused on living each day rather than dying. He wanted to spend time with his fiancée and love of his life, Katrenka Rember, MD, whose devotion helped make this possible. They traveled extensively, enjoyed time with family and friends, and savored their time together. Hamid’s bright eyes, easy smile and enthusiasm for life touched many hearts and inspired many with cancer. Eleven months after his diagnosis, Katrenka was diagnosed with colon cancer. Hamid and Katrenka agreed that their commitment to each other and to making the most of each day was absolute, even in the face of daunting odds. 

The quality of Hamid’s last years was enhanced by countless family members, friends, co-workers and, at times, strangers who stepped forward to help with caregiving, transportation, meals, shopping, house cleaning, gardening and medical bills. 

Thankful for the support he received, Hamid expressed the hope that an organization might some day be created to assist individuals whose lives were being impacted by cancer. With the help of his dear friends Merle and Nasi Greenstein, Komak Inc., a community-based nonprofit, was founded in December 2006, just weeks prior to Hamid’s death. Hamid’s spirit of love, hope and optimism lives on through Komak.