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Krisanna’s Story

       "Have a bright sunshiny yellow day!"

                                Krisanna Roberts

On May 26, 2009, 14 year old Krisanna celebrated graduation:  an MRI showed that the tumor bed remained stable following a 2004 gamma knife procedure on her third brain tumor, so she graduated to annual check-ups at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  

Merely two weeks later, an MRI revealed that a tumor at the base of her spine was the source of pain she had been experiencing for a month as sixth grade wound down and the promise of summer beckoned.  She returned to Memphis for the summer.

For eleven years Krisanna Roberts battled an aggressive brain tumor called an Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor.  She was St. Jude’s longest surviving AT/RT patient. The tumor first presented in the brain and returned twice following initial occurrence and treatment.  The fourth occurrence was the first time the tumor had presented in the spine.

Krisanna’s spirit and determination soared as she began what she called her “summer vacation at her home away from home” at Target House.  Arts and crafts was the name of the game ... and assigning each day a color unveiled the infinite spectrum of yellow for this pink and purple-loving princess.  In August, she returned home to Mobile, Alabama with big plans for seventh grade. 

On Septermber 1, Krisanna's spine scan showed that radiation had not reduced the tumor.  Hoping that long-term effects would reduce the size, Krisanna returned to school.  However, by the 3rd week of September, daily headaches, nausea, and emesis limited her activities.  By mid-October, she was in constant pain, eating little, and often dehydrated which home hospital visits helped only minimally.  We returned to St. Jude October 26 for a brain scan.

Shockingly, the scan revealed that the tumor had returned with a vengeance.  It covered her brain, and there were no medical options left.  Krisanna, however, didn't give up. She still had a lot of living to do!  With her Pollyanna spirit, she made big plans and celebrated every single day -- even the last in her hospital bed. She died in her "home away from home" on November 4, 2009.

Latest Journal Update

I know that I will do more than just pass through this life .....

"I'll leave nothing less than something that says, 'I was here.'"

Today is graduation day.  Tonight, Krisanna's friends graduate.  The class of 2015.  Oh how I've anticipated this day!  Krisanna so dearly wanted to graduate from UMS-Wright, and her friends and schoolmates have ensured she will be a part of tonight's festivities.
 
I've posted some photos of the new and enhanced Krisanna's Garden. The middle school GEMS worked incredibly hard this year raising money to bring the garden to life in time for graduation.  As you can see in the photos, it's absolutely gorgeous.  One of the photos includes Mr. Tommy who designed and built it laying stones in the shape of a K.  I'll add a photo of the girls as soon as I get one.  Miss Ginna, Miss Mona, Miss Angel, and Mr. David, are awesome!

Wednesday, at the end of graduation practice, Krisanna's friend Miss Melinda and the seniors showed me a gift from the class - a gorgeous teak cross. It is stunning!

Tonight I get to speak!  Please say a prayer that I say all the right things and I say them the right way ... that my words make a difference the way Krisanna would want them to.  

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Comments

10 Comments

Colette Herring-Compton
By Colette
Can't wait to see photos of the garden.
You will be as eloquent as always. Such an inspiration and role model.
Wish I could be there.
Look forward to hearing about it.
Huggers <3
Laurel Wilson
By DBW family
"Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you know how you should respond to each one." Colossians 4:6. Happy Graduation Day, Nanna! We love you!
Joyce Kirkland
By Joyce Kirkland
The garden sounds absolutely wonderful and great tribute to her! Have a WONDERULLY TERRIFIC DAY Mrs. Roberts!
Joyce Kirkland
By
Oh Laura I know Krisanna will be with you all the way. I love this pic with all the colors and the one with her holding the baby - She was loving every moment. WILL surely NEVER forget our moments together and what an amazing young lady she was!!! Know this is sweet nite as well as tough one for you. Show the strength you always have. We love you for teaching her all you did and her bravery and courage and delightfulness thro it all. Unfortunatley I have bad bronchitis and will be unable to attend but will be there in my prayers!!!!
bridget owen
By aunt b
yellow hugs-
we are with you in our hearts
<3
Mollie Bell
By Mollie Bell
"Fight Hard!" Not that you wouldn't but I know that's what K would tell you besides the Be Brave but brady already covered that one!!
You might start with "what happened was this..." Can't wait to hear what you have to say! It always amazes me! Love you to the moon and back, double twinkle...
Laura Barnett
By Laura Barnett
My arms and heart are wrapped around you today. What a blessed angel got shared with us
Brady Wilson
By Brady Wilson
"Be brave."
shannon beisel
By Aunt Shannon
Prayers!
It's going to be a TERRIFIC day!
We love you!
Aunt Shannon & Unca Mick 💛💛💛
Stephanie Rogers
By Stephanie Rogers
She will speak through you- am so excited for you! Sending love always.