Kristen's Story

Kristen Marie (Percent) Mureebe was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma in November 2008. There are approximately 250 cases diagnosed in the United States annually. Ewing’s predominately occurs in male children between twelve and seventeen years of age. At 33, Kristen’s case was considered an aberration. The rarity of this cancer makes us even more determined to raise awareness of rare cancer research.

We were obviously devastated with the news of Kristen’s diagnosis, especially since she had recently given birth to a baby boy four months prior, but we had hope. After all, Kristen was the epitome of health and vitality. She was a long time vegetarian, slim and fit. Her chances of fighting this must be favorable. Unfortunately, given the type of cancer she had, this was not the case.

She immediately started chemotherapy. Her strength and determination was astounding. She pushed her way through treatments spending every bit of her energy on raising her baby son Owen with the help and love of family. She watched and encouraged his every milestone, from smiles to steps. She was completely without vain when it came to her hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes. She rarely wore her wig and was quite comfortable as a gorgeous bald mother, wife, sister, and daughter.

She dedicated herself to fighting this cancer, never losing hope. Despite her dizziness and nausea, she participated in the Cycle for Survival event at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. She had the utmost faith in the staff at Memorial Sloan-Kettering who are experts in Sarcoma research, including Ewing's Sarcoma. During treatment, she developed a brain tumor which was removed through surgery. Spots on her lung appeared, as did another tumor in her brain. A trial was offered and taken with the same continued hope for cure. The inoperable tumors in her lungs grew and it was clear that the trial was not working. Her breathing became labored. She suffered extremely painful procedures to drain her lungs in the hospital.

Kristen spent the last month of her life in the hospital. She was able to return home for one day, but her discomfort and need for palliative care forced a return to the Sloan. Her physical pain, while excruciating, was greatly overshadowed by the emotional pain of being so near her son and unable to care for him or even hug and kiss him. As a busy toddler, we were able to keep him entertained but she was tragically beyond the point of being able to physically interact with him.

On September 12, 2009, after an 11 month battle with this horrible cancer, she took her last breath. Baby Owen was 15 months old, and it was eleven days before her third wedding anniversary. The unfairness of this cancer continues to haunt our family. We look at photos and share them lovingly with Owen who is now 2 years old. He knows who “mamma” is, but he has been robbed of her in his life. No son should lose his mother so young, and no mother should have to leave her son when he is young. Kristen was the picture of health, beauty and life. We have beautiful memories and her of course. Her strength in the face of this vicious cancer, deeply affected so many friends and family who stood by her side through it all. We are all forever changed by losing her.

We are ONE%. We believe it is time to create awareness to end Sarcoma. Please join us.

Learn about Rare Cancers

FACT:

  • One young person a day discovers that they have Ewing's Sarcoma; every year there are approximately 250 new diagnoses of young patients with Ewing's Sarcoma in the US.
  • Ewings Sarcoma is exclusively limited to Caucasians, with males being more prone to it than females. It develops between the ages of 10 & 20, making it mainly a disease affecting adolescents.
  • Each year cancer kills more children than asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, congenital anomalies, & AIDS, combined.
  • One in every 330 Americans develops cancer before the age of 20.
  • The cancer death rate has dropped more dramatically for children that for any other age group due solely to research.