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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

Let the thankful heart sweep through the day ....

Let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!  ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Easter Sunday was truly a bright sunshiny Easter day.  The small Easter tree with teeny egg ornaments ... the ornaments remind me of Miss Grew and the cheerleaders when they sent tiny ornaments for every holiday our first year at St. Jude's. Neither they nor I realized that the blessings of 1999 would still bless in 2015!  As I decorated the Easter tree I could hear Krisanna's laughter as she decorated the tree each holiday starting back in a small apartment in Memphis.  I see her rocking and slapping her knee as she and Ginny tease about Easter stockings. I really can still hear her!  I am thankful for the blessing of her laughter.

The photo is from the 95KSJ Country Cares St. Jude marathon sometime around 2008.  Wow - she could put a smile on Dan Brennan's face!  What blessing to see this picture on their Facebook page during this year's marathon AND to remember how happy she was that day when Aunt Mollie took her to raise money for her hospital!  

In an interview Lauren Hill said it will be such a happy day when there is no more cancer!  This weekend people are working hard to make that happen. On Sunday, the Memphis-to-Mobile runners will arrive in Mobile - 381 miles from the start of their journey in front of the very doors all children enter for treatment. They will pass Ye Olde UMS-Wright Sunday morning between 11 and 11:30 a.m.  If you live in Mobile, please come to Bulldog Drive wearing yellow to greet them and cheer them on as they change running teams for the final time before arriving at their downtown destination.  Laura Barnett, Courtney, Brittney and all the runners and caravan bless the lives of so many St. Jude patients with their sacrifice. As runner Emily HIll says, "In the end, we are all running for one mission:  "No child will die in the dawn of life." - Danny Thomas. Speaking of blessings -- thank you Danny Thomas and St. Jude's people! 

Wow - Krisanna has met Danny Thomas.  I'm thinking THAT was an interesting conversation :-)

Today, in my front yard, two beautiful yellow rosebuds on Krisanna's rose bush opened to the sunshine ... making this mamu smile inside and out ... blessing this rainy day with bright sunshiny yellow!  

Hoping your inner magnet finds many bright yellow blessings, too ~


10 people hearted this



Stephanie Rogers
By Stephanie Rogers
You have been with me so strongly for a couple of weeks now. Please know you are loved.
Mollie Bell
By Mollie Bell
I went to Krispy Kreme tonight to order doughnuts for Monday's state tennis tourney and to pick up a dozen or 2 for tomorrow morning for any of the kids (big and small :) to have. When we walked in on the door there was a few seasonal options and one was a bright yellow doughnut with a bee on the corner. I was so excited! I proceeded to place the order for Monday with a very nice man name Terrance and just as nice lady name Charlotte. I had mentioned the 2 dozen yellow doughnuts to begin with. Terrance said they were out at the moment but I could pick up in the morning. I said great. He told Charlotte. She said oh no we can't do them we are out of the bee! I said oh that's ok I don't need the bee can I have them without? She said you want them just yellow?? I said absolutely! I told her what they were for and that the yellow was the only part I really wanted. She and Terrance looked at each other and Terrance said make that 4 dozen. I am donating 2 more dozen yellow! Charlotte said and we will get 4 dozen plain glazed as well! I was just standing there overwhelmed! I just kept saying thank you! I hope we get lots of peeps out there to enjoy these doughnuts. I figured we could send a couple dozen on the RVs as well. They may be sick of all the snacks they have had but who can resist Krispy Kreme?? The good people at the store wanted to make sure there were enough for the runners and the people cheering for them!! I love Krispy Kreme even more if that is possible!! See you in the morning. Looking forward to it. Love you!
1 person hearted this
Kelly Darling
Was so excited to see a post tonight. I was just about to turn off the computer and decided that I would just check to see if there were any new emails. I'm so glad I did.....I think your precious girl had something to do with that. :-) xoxo