Our daughter Kate died yesterday morning after a year-long battle with breast cancer. Our focus today is on her husband Alec, and our granddaughters Genevieve, 3 and Paige who will turn 2 later this month. Their well-being will be our first priority for the rest of our lives.
Today we will be planning her burial and a memorial service -- possibly as soon as this Saturday - - I expect that arrangements will be in Wednesday’s Beacon Journal.
For those who have asked the question how a vibrant, fit 38 year old woman could be teaching ballet and chasing two toddlers around in the month of January, and be dead in March – we have asked the same question. I know some of our friends are interested in the ‘why,’ so you can read on.
She was diagnosed a year ago, and underwent a course of chemo, surgery, and 30 straight days of radiation in December. In January, Kate sought a new opinion from the chief oncologist for breast cancer at Cleveland Clinic, and he immediately ordered a PET scan that revealed the cancer had metastasized in her bones and liver. He ordered a strong new course of chemo to attack the tumors in the liver. By February, we knew that it hadn’t worked. We reached out to M.D. Anderson in Houston, who reviewed her file and consulted with the Clinic staff, but until her liver started functioning, there was nothing they could offer. Kate then went on another course of chemo that was so powerful it burned her hands and skin and left painful lesions in her mouth. She suffered a lot these last 30 days.
This past Thursday morning, Lynne and I picked up Kate at 6am to take her to see her doctor in Cleveland. She was disoriented, and had fallen during the early morning hours. We took her to the emergency room at Akron General to be evaluated, expecting that we would have to reschedule the appointment in Cleveland. After 6 hours of tests and scans, it was clear that Kate’s body was filled with infection from multiple sources. Her liver was not functioning at all. Her kidneys were starting to shut down. They admitted her to the ICU Thursday night, and started continuous dialysis to keep her alive. She was alert for these procedures. By Friday, her blood chemistry was revealing the awful truth that the infection was compromising every system in her body. On Saturday, as a family, we joined Alec in making the decision to end her substantial suffering, there being no hope of recovering from her fatal condition. She was well taken care of in her last hours. The family never left her side. Her life support was removed Saturday night, and she died early Sunday – April 1, Easter.
Some of you knew that we were planning for Emma’s wedding to Nate Osborn in California in June. It was important to Emma that Kate be her attendant. The Clinic doctors were honest with us that we should not expect Kate to travel in June, so we moved up the wedding to this coming Friday, April 6 in Akron. On Thursday night, Emma borrowed a ring from her mom, and we had a brief service in the ICU joining Emma and Nate forever.
So many people have been supportive, and the outpouring of emotion and support on Facebook has been overwhelming -- from Kate’s friends around the country especially in the dance community. We have been gratified this past month with the notes and letters from her young students and their parents who have told us what a great teacher of ballet she was, how they were missing her teaching, and how she has impacted their lives. We will find a way to continue that part of Kate’s life.
Best to you all,
Dave and Lynne
David Lieberth Suite 202 195 South Main St. Akron, OH 44308 email@example.com 234.738.0003 (tel:234.738.0003)
I am posting (above) Miss Kate's father's message, David Lieberth on this site. I encourage all of you to continue writing your thoughts, your love notes and what you would have communicated to our dearest Miss Kate as she joined our dear Lord on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018. When you have a moment to reflect and decide to share your expression of love, support and prayers on this site, know that her loved ones will draw strength from your words and someday, Genevieve & Paige will come to know their wonderful mother through your stories. How lucky we are to have met such a lovely human being! Gina Poblete - Ballet Excel Ohio Parent and co-author of Kate Lieberth Lytton's Caring Bridge site.
Previous posts below (Before April 1, 2018): Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
This site will be built throughout this first week of Kate's treatment, and updated regularly.
Hello there! I am back and have been busy since this site was first set-up in February 2017. It is now Spring of 2018 and I have an eager "ghost writer" or rather co-author who asked to help maintain this Caringbridge website so friends and family may be kept updated consistently and it is an exclusive space to send notes and posts! I would love reading them whenever I get the chance. Check out my latest journal entry which I posted on Facebook recently and share it on this site.