Raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, Karen van Blankenstein first trained as a Sign Language Interpreter and a Registered Nurse. After working for many productions as a medical advisor, she was offered her first role on "Beggars and Choosers". She has continued to work as both an actor and medical advisor (sometimes both) on numerous Vancouver productions. She maintains her nursing skills in a busy emergency department. In addition, she rock climbs, takes yoga and is a distance trail runner. She currently resides in North Vancouver with her four children.