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Katie’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge site. It has been created to keep friends and family updated about our loved one. My Story is the introduction to our CaringBridge site. It contains a brief overview of Katie's treatment for neuroblastoma.

Be sure to read the latest in the journal, view the photo gallery, and drop us a line in the guestbook.

Katrina LeeAnn Krize

May 25, 1994 - August 1, 2008



Mom and Dad are Mike and Michele Krize, and little sister is Erika Krize. Katie was born on May 25, 1994, and is now 14 years old!

Katie was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma on October 1, 1999. Katie went through five rounds of chemo then surgery to remove her tumor and infected lymph nodes. Her bone marrow and bones were completely cleared of cancer cells after three rounds of chemo. She had a stem cell harvest in January 2000 and gave 14.7 million cells. Katie finished getting local radiation to the tumor bed and two vertebrae on March 1, 2000. On March 21, 2000, Katie was admitted to Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina for her stem cell transplant. She was discharged on April 17, 2000. She also completed six rounds of accutane and has been officially finished with treatment since December 2000.

On March 10, 2006, Katie was diagnosed as having relapsed neuroblastoma. We are in the fight again! From March 2006 until August 2006, Katie had 7 rounds of the topless cyclone - topotecan/cytoxan. We believe she was once again NED (with no evidence of disease). In October, three new spots showed upon her legs, but we were starting a new chemo anyway - ABT-751. Katie took 6 rounds of that chemo (experimental, at the NIH in Bethesda, MD), then progressed again with cancerous lymph nodes in her neck and armpit and new lesions on her skull in February 2007. She started oral irinotecan and temodar in February 2007.

Katie progressed again in July 2007 with new tumors in her left upper arm and her skull. She finished MIBG therapy at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in August 2007, but six weeks after MIBG therapy, Katie progressed again with three new tumors on her skull, and extensive disease in her pelvis. Three rounds of ifosfamide and etopiside helped a lot, but then Katie progressed again in December 2007 with a large tumor on her skull. In January 2008, Katie enrolled in a Phase II Clinical Trial in Vermont of nifurtimox - topotecan - cytoxan - zometa, but just started with nifurtimox. She progressed again in February with tumors in her arms, legs, stomach, pancreas and extensive bone marrow disease. She added in the chemo early, and scans in April 2008 showed either significant improvement to those tumors or stability, and her bone marrow is much improved.

In June 2008, Katie headed back to Vermont for final study scans. Before leaving, she developed pancreatitis, probably due to the tumors near her pancreas growing. Then a few weeks later, we discovered that the neuroblastoma had spread to her brain. Katie came home on hospice on July 13, 2008, and passed away peacefully on August 1, 2008.

Latest Journal Update

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Merry Christmas, everyone...

FIFTEEN YEARS AGO TODAY....

Mike and I met our girl.  Katie was in foster care, in Greg and Monika Dove's wonderful home.  She was happy and healthy, and well taken care of, but most of all, very well loved.  Her Guardian ad litem, Christy, was one of my friends from college.  I had told her about wanting to adopt, and a few days before Christmas she asked if we wanted to meet Katie.  We had Christmas dinner at Christy's parents house at Lake Murray.  There are so many funny stories from that day...Katie walking around with cheese in her hand for hours (yuck!), she was fascinated by Grammy Mason's snowglobes, how she ran through the house but would walk very slowly across the linoleum kitchen floor, how she would show her belly to anyone that asked.  Even though it was the first time she met us, Christy told us she cried and cried when we got out of the car.

All the way home that evening, Mike and I whispered...we kept thinking she was there in the car with us!  We both agreed we had met our daughter.  It was the best Christmas present ever.  A year later, we had our first Christmas with our girl, and it was amazing.

We met Erika on Thanksgiving Day.  Today, Erika asked us what was up with meeting our children on holidays.  I told her we were done and we weren't meeting any more future children on holidays!  She thought that was kind of funny.

Here it is, our third Christmas without Katie.  Erika woke so excited, but then I found her curled up on the couch, under a blanket, forlorn...her problem?  I miss my sissy.  We all miss her.  So, guess what I told her?  Would your sissy want us sitting around moping?  No!  Get to it, girl...rip open those presents!  And she did. 

Erika is now 13, and Katie would have been 16 this Christmas.  I think about how I might have put a big bow on a car in our driveway for Katie, or how she would want the latest in technology...and iPad, or something else just as extravagant.  And I would have done everything I could to give her everything she wanted. 

Some days I just try to get through the day...the holidays are especially hard.  But I won't regret one day with Katie.  Fifteen years ago, I knew it in my heart, that we would be connected forever.  I love you, Katie, and we all miss you so much!  I am sure Christmas in heaven is unbelievable!

Michele