– Jennifer Elkhouri
Hello dear friends and SK Enthusiasts <3
I am asking you all, from the bottom of my heart, to please read this post. Don’t skip past it. I know each and every one of us are pulled in nine million directions on a daily basis, but please take just a moment to — pause — and take in these words.
I want so much to share Kate’s story to honor her life and her memory. Writing this will likely make me cry. I often cry when I think of Kate and her amazing parents, everything they went through and what they lost because of cancer. But writing this will also make me smile as Kate’s story is a story of love. She was here to LOVE and to show people how to love. And if Kate can impart a smile on even one person today through this post, that would be amazing. And my hopes run large, so I am going to add that we can spread awareness about childhood cancer through this post and even change lives through Kate’s story, here, in these pixels.
Kate was born June 5, 2011. She was a beautiful and perfectly healthy little girl, even if she decided to show up a wee bit early. Kate was ALWAYS surrounded by love at home, with Conan, her crazy dog; her most amazing Gamma as babysitter, and very loving mommy and daddy. And we can’t forget Kate’s Lovey, who went everywhere with Kate. In August of 2013, Kate was diagnosed with Pre-B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. I have said this before and I will say it again — people hear leukemia, and a common response is, “oh, the good kind.” Please correct them — there is no ‘good’ cancer. And the only ‘good’ survival rate is 100%. Kate did amazing through the two years of chemo. There were awful days, and nausea and tears, but her body responded very well to the treatment and she was found cancer free quickly after beginning the treatment protocol for ALL. After her two and a half year treatment ended, Kate LIVED. She went to Disney World on an amazing Make-A-Wish trip. She went to the beach. She visited family. She started preschool!! Just four months after being off treatment, Kate relapsed. Within 15 hours of Kate’s diagnosis of relapse, she was gone. It was absolutely unexpected and a shock to everyone. I still feel like it isn’t real. I wish with my entire being it wasn’t real.
Kate was just four and a half years old when cancer took her, but she and her family have taught me and my family SO. VERY. MUCH. Be humble. Be silly. Love dinosaurs. Be good to your friends. Eat ice cream for breakfast. Love your family intensely. Love your children intensely. Never take one second for granted. Pay it forward. Giggle when you go down slides that lead into pools. Know that those we love who are no longer here are waiting for us, watching over us, but not missing us. Love others.
We will be donating $1 from every haircut this June to Kate’s Cause, in memory of Kate. We will definitely be eating ice cream for breakfast on Kate’s 6th heavenly birthday on June 5th. We would love for you to pay it forward with a Random Act Of Kateness and post on the Kate’s Cause Facebook page using the hashtags #RandomActOfKateness and #SKLove. Also, please plan on joining us at the Keg’s and Corks for Kids Cancer at Bad Wolf Brewery on September 10, 2017. This will be a FAMILY FRIENDLY event and we hope to see you there!