Mother Who Lost Teenage Daughter To MM
Jorge sure brought back memories. Six years ago this month we lost our beautiful
17 years old daughter Kristen to mesothelioma. When she was first diagnosed
we too were told they were double checking the diagnosis because of her
age. But it was verified by a lab in St. Louis. We lived in Oklahoma City
at the time. Eventually, our effort led us to Dr. David Sugarbaker at
the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. He proposed to remove
Kristen's lung that was affected, however, when he began the surgery
he had to stop because he found the cancer had wrapped around some blood
vessels going to her heart.
We returned to our home state of Ark and Kristen started a rigorous regimen
of chemo at the Cancer Research Center in Little Rock, Ark. She outlived
her prognosis by 3 mos. and died at the age of 17 years, 3 mos. Three
months later we presented her diploma (she graduated with honors from
grades made before her death) at the graduation that was dedicated to
her honor at her high school.
I hope someone finds a cure for this before another person, much less a
child has to go through this. I must say, most times she was braver then
we were and never gave up hope of beating her cancer.
I don't know who will get this but you might let Dr. Sugarbaker know
that when Kristen died the cancer had also spread to her stomach, pelvic
region, and heart. And trying to make some good out of Kristen's death,
we donated her body to cancer research at the University of Arkansas at
Little Rock Hospital. Her name was Kristen Lowery and I believe Dr. Sugarbaker
operated on her in November of 1990 or 1991.
Kristen certainly taught us the meaning of courage. My prayers will be
with Jorge and his family.
I also remember that when we searched for places to take Kristen, we were
told that St. Judes in Memphis, Tenn was doing some work with mesothelioma
patients. Unfortunately, they could not help Kristen, but this may be
an avenue for Jorge.
Another piece of information we were given is that at the time Kristen
was sick, that there were fewer than 50 cases of people under the age
of 18 with mesothelioma in the English speaking world. We were told there
were not a lot of statistics for people her age since she was in a rare
age group. I would appreciate it if you would keep me informed about Jorge
if you have the time.
P.S. We were never able to figure out where Kristen may have come into
contact with asbestos.
POSTED FEBRUARY 22, 1998