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My 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.

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Laura Roberts posted a new journal entry, "Summertime - and the livin' is easy ......".

Five years ago, May 2009, as my painter brother-in-law, aka Unca Mick, strategized how best to mount his exhibit for the Harding Academy Annual Art Show, an ... Read more

Laura Roberts added a new photo.

Laura Roberts added a new photo.

shannon beisel signed Krisanna's Guestbook.

Oops cut off!!!love the new photos posted.  my heart is always filled when I see new pictures and read your journal entries Laura ---- much love ---- aunt shannon & ... Read more

shannon beisel signed Krisanna's Guestbook.

We will always treasure the memories of that fun summer ----- most especially the art show ----- we were so honoured you guys would come up for it!   Krisanna touched ... Read more

Laura Roberts added a new photo.

Laura Roberts added a new photo.

Laura Roberts added a new photo.

Laura Roberts added a new photo.

Laura Roberts added a new photo.

Laura Roberts posted a new journal entry, "Morgan - living in yellow".

Krisanna’s spirit has filled my heart this spring. Her classmates had yellow flowers at the entryway to the prom. The first Camp GraceYellow Day was a huge hit. During ... Read more

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