Kristi Crawford

Posted by on Feb 23, 2012 in Blog | 1 comment

My name is Kristi Crawford and I am a high school math teacher. In 2004 my mother in law was diagnosed with lung and breast cancer. The mass in her lung metasomatized and she passed away from ultimately lung cancer. We never really went on what I see as the “breast cancer” journey. In February of 2009 one of my good friends, Stacey Gaecke, was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was devastated. She was my age and had 2 children in elementary and middle school. It was then that I really watched her journey and was amazed by her faith in God and her strength. She would remind me all the time that life was too short to get upset about the small stuff and to look at what was really important in life. I invited her to Langham Creek’s Dig Pink game in October of 2009. I did not help with it, but invited Stacey and we were there in memory of my mother in law Carol Thacker. It was an incredible time seeing Stacey smile and accept the flower since she had been told she was in remission. I soon found out in January that Stacey’s breast cancer had come back with a vengeance. She had been diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer and it was very aggressive with how young she was. We celebrated her 39thbirthday in January and we watched her dance to her wedding song with her husband David. There was not a dry eye in the place. She ended the evening back in her wheelchair and I realized it was taking all her strength to get through the night. She went into the hospital the next weekend and never came back out. It was one year from being diagnosed that she died.

The Langham Creek Softball coach, Michele Biffle wanted to do a “Strike out” Breast Cancer game earlier that year and I was going to help her run it. After Stacey passed I felt a sense of urgency and drive. I not only wanted to help raise money but really, more importantly, raise awareness. What a wonderful way to honor my friend who was an educator. We had our SAS class here at LCHS help us by researching the different types of breast cancer and making posters explaining about the types. As we did the project, some students did not understand the vocabulary and would ask what things meant. (i.e. metasomatized) I remember Stacey saying she always needed someone in the doctor’s office with her because the medical language was overwhelming with the shock of the whole journey. I started having the students create vocabulary posters along with the other ones. The night was such a huge success thanks to all the Langham Creek Softball parents. My heart felt full just feeling like I was making a difference and what an impact it made on our students. It has grown to a yearly event and students keep coming back wanting to help when we do it again.

December 2011 the Langham Creek Girls Basketball team wanted to host a “Shoot for a Cure” game. It was so amazing seeing these girls get excited and want to raise awareness. I love seeing the students at Langham Creek want to make a difference in other people’s lives. I feel like I want to make sure that I can continue to honor my friend and make sure she is never forgotten. For me, she is what I think about when life gets hard and that she would change places with me in a heartbeat if she could.

I have loved getting involved and seeing the youth become interested in charity work and getting involved with a cause. This has been an experience that has taken on a world of its own. I am just glad I can help give back and show my own children that one person can make a difference but a group is even more powerful.

1 Comment

  1. Awesome!

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