Kristan, Age 12, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

She’s the apple of her dad’s eye

Kristan is happy – happy to be going to the mall and movies with friends.  Happy to be buying shoes, wearing makeup and having slumber parties.  Happy to just be alive.

(2005) – By looking at Kristan, with her sassy flip-flops that proudly display her initials, you would never know that just a year ago, she was in the fight of her life battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL.)

And the fight isn’t over yet. She’s still on medications and is still making regular trips to Texas Children’s Cancer Center for checkups.  But the outlook is so much brighter than it was last year at this time.

“Her prognosis is good and she’s back in school,” said Kristan’s dad beaming with pride. “We’ve had a couple of bumps along the way – the possibility of her relapsing is always in the back of our minds.”

But for now, the Hawthornes are celebrating. Kristan’s hair has grown back beautifully and she’s catching up with friendships and things she missed out on during the throes of her treatment.

One friendship that’s particularly special to her is the one she developed with 93Q on-air personality, Jenny Law.  Kristan and Jenny met during last year’s “The New 93Q Cure Kids Cancer Radiothon.”

“She’s one tough kid,” said Jenny about Kristan.  “After meeting her and her family, I don’t take things for granted anymore.  Kristan really changed my perspective on life.”

Jenny has kept in touch with Kristan this past year – visiting her in the hospital, sending emails and making phone calls.

“Jenny’s friendship with Kristan has been a real blessing to us,” said Kristan’s dad. “Kristan and Jenny met during the lowest point for us – last December when Kristan was going through the worst of her treatment.  What the Cancer Center and 93Q did for Kristan was simply amazing and the kindness will never be forgotten.”

Not only did Kristan form special friendships as a result of her illness, but she’s also formed a special bond with her dad.

“Kristan is my hero,” said her dad with tears in his eyes.  “These kids, all of them, are remarkable and resilient.  They are beating odds they never would beat if it weren’t for Texas Children’s Hospital.”