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Sara’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge site. It has been created to keep friends and family updated about our experience while undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkins lymphoma.



Dear Family & Friends,

Who knew a year later we'd be here again, preparing for a second stem cell transplant? Well, the fact is we are and we need you more than ever.

It looks like the transplant may fall about the same time as last year, Chip's birthday. That's a good thing in that it mentally prepares my wonderful caregivers, Chip, Mom and Dad, and me for what we face and the timeline of when/how things happen.

I am so blessed to have a wonderful team of doctors and nurses here in Albany who have cared for me, coached me, hugged me, counseled me, and loved me as we prepare for the second transplant. There are too many to name, but special thanks go to the Phoebe BMT team - Michelle, Vicki and Wanda; and my awesome, awesome docs, Dr. Philip Roberts and Dr. Jose Tongol. They keep it real....with a smile. Amie Lockhart is a special friend and medical professional. The entire seventh floor oncology nurses and staff on the outpatient unit and the seventh floor hospital nurses are gifted angels who were stuck with me during the four day and night long treatments.

There's a whole host of friends and families who have been my Prayer Warriors along with the medical teams, and like I said, we need you as much as ever. This journey has strengthened our faith in God's mercy and we are blessed so much by the Lord's increasing presence in our lives.

The need for blood and platelets is tremendous, especially after Hurricane Ike. If you can, give blood and/or platelets, and know that you are helping heal folks and save lives. I've been on the receiving end many times and am grateful for everyone who can give!

We will keep you posted as we prepare for this second journey. We love each and every one of you more than you know.

For newbies who might not know our story, here it is in the greatly condensed version.....

Sara was diagnosed in 1992 with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. She was treated at Duke and luckily, because as we all know, Sara faints pretty easily and was able to be treated with oral chemo. She was in remission for 12 years.

The cancer returned in 2005. Unfortunately the chemo knocked the cancer back a bit, but did not provide a remission.

It became obvious that more aggressive treatment was needed. Sara and Chip decided to seek a second opinion after learning about MD Anderson's transplant program.

A stem cell transplant occurred on Oct. 19, 2007, but in June 2008, tests showed the cancer had returned. Now we are headed back to Houston for a second transplant.

So, this website is our effort to keep friends and family in the loop....

Our God is an awesome God and our trust and faith are in Him.

Much love to you all,

Sara and Chip

Latest Journal Update

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Dear Friends,
We  want to let everyone know that Sara has stopped struggling, having pain, and made it home to be with our Father in Heaven.  She passed peacefully last night July 13th at approximately 6:15pm surrounded by her loved ones. She had been hospitalized since June 21.   Memorial services are being planned for her hometown of Hickory, NC as well as her current home of Albany, GA next week.  Dates and times will  be posted as they finalized.  More information can also be found at www.kimbrellstern.com.  Thanks for your love, compassion, support and prayers through Sara's long battle and these difficult times.  May God Bless all of you.

Sara's Family