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A Mama’s Fight For Her Life

$42,725 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 526 people in 12 months
There are moments in our life when we need help.  I’m in one of those moments.  It started with those 4 words I spent my nights praying I’d never hear.

“The cancer is back.” 

I’m Kat.  I’m 33 and the mama of a silly, sweet 2 year old little girl, Addie.  She can usually be found singing her own words to the Mary Had a Little Lamb tune, asking “can we go at the park?”, or looking up ever so sweetly with a “will you tell me a stowy?” (to which I start a silly story that she takes over, usually adding in a giant, a T-rex, or a dragon).  Her imagination amazes me every day.  And somehow, at only 2, she already has the sweetest, most caring little heart.  She’s my world.

Then there’s her dad.  I’m lucky enough to have found my person.  To be married to the absolute love of my life.  To have that closeness where we can have entire conversations across a room with just a few looks.  This amazing man smiled by my side, holding my hand, taking care of the house and our baby girl while I battled cancer.  On days I could barely get out of bed, he’d tell me how proud he was of me, calling me “KatStrong”.  And here he is, standing by my side again as I gear up to be KatStrong for another battle.  He’s my rock.  My light.  My best friend. 

Leaving these two is just not going to happen without the fight of a lifetime.  Cancer doesn’t know how hard I’ll fight to be here to watch my little girl go off to her first day of kindergarten.  To dance with my husband in our living room to our first-dance-song on so many more wedding anniversaries.  To have so many more Disney movie nights with all three of us belting out “Let it go, let it GOOOOOO” snuggled under a Dora sleeping bag.  It doesn’t know the fight I have in me.  It doesn’t know how beautiful the life I have to fight for is.  It doesn’t know how KatStrong I am. 

So, get ready, cancer.  I’m going to fight like hell.  With the original Stage 3 Triple Negative Breast Cancer having spread, it’s now Stage 4.  Which calls for a massive fight.  With radiosurgery, ongoing chemo, a clinical trial for a new immunotherapy drug, an alternative treatment that has had tremendous success, and a multitude of recommended supplements, I’m gearing up for the fight of a lifetime.  But the bills for this fight are adding up quickly to the pile we’re still paying off from the last round.  Which leaves some options including the alternative treatment an impossibility for me as of now.      

So I’m left humbly asking for help.  Help keeping my baby girl’s mama around.  Help keeping the love of my life’s best friend around.  Help fighting for my life.  Any help you can give is so, so very appreciated.  Thank you with all of my heart for your generosity, prayers, and healing thoughts.  Thank you for rallying around me, my husband, and my little girl as I fight for our life together.  Thank you for helping me be KatStrong.
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Age 34, of Bloomington MN, passed away peacefully April 21, 2018, surrounded by her loved ones. Katherine was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2015 and she faced the fight ahead with faith, hope and determination. Katherine was an amazing woman, wife, and mother. She brought light and energy to every room and made instant friends wherever she went. She built an amazing life with her soul mate, Jon, and together they made a beautiful little girl, Addie, who was the pride of Katherine’s life. We will miss her dearly, but are grateful for the love she has given all of us.



Preceded in death by Katherine’s biological father, Daniel Richard Dix (2000). Survived by husband Jonathan Ryan, daughter Addie; Parents Sandy and Bill Harris of Alexandria, MN; Mother-in-law Billy Dunn of Woodbury, MN; Grandparents Ingrid, Gil Gilbertson of Moorhead, MN; Sisters, Jamie (Deljuan) Dix of Inver Grove Heights, MN and Kelley (Jeffrey) Morse of Beverly, MA; Brother Aaron Harris of Burnsville, MN; Nephews, TJ, Tyler and Matthew; Nieces Dominique, Ava and Lillian.



Special thanks to oncologist Dr. Paul Thurmes, the incredible caring staff at Abbott Hospital and the Allina Hospice care team, as well as Robert Half, Inside Edge, Hank’s Specialties, and Dell EMC for their tremendous support over the last 2+ years.



Visitation will be Thursday, April 26, 2018 5 - 8 pm and Celebration of Life will be Friday, April 27th11 am. Both services will be at Washburn-McReavy Funeral Home, 5000 West 50th& 100, Edina, MN.
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Thank you so much for all your continued support and love. It's given me so much strength in this journey. This journey took a big turn this week, as I went in with a fever and found I had an pneumonia that spread to my blood causing me to go septic and also finding that most all of my right lung is cancer. My medical team agree treatment is unfortunantely no longer helpful...the cancer continues to grow and spread and responds to nothing. The focus now has switched to comfort and enjoying the time I have left at home with family. I started hospice care at home yesterday to do just that.

Your prayers are still very welcomed.
Thanks for everything.
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You guys are truly amazing.

If I’m being honest, putting this GoFundMe together left me feeling anxious and vulnerable. Between sharing this part of me and having to ask for help, I felt like I was standing naked in an auditorium in front of everyone I know.

But then…I watched your love and support roll in. And felt some of the burden of this journey slowly lift.

No words seem like enough to thank you for turning those feelings of vulnerability to feelings of hope. But I’ll try.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Jon and I thank you from the very depths of our hearts. You stepped up to stand by us in the most difficult time in our lives. Whether you have prayed for us, cried with us, comforted us, cheered us up, or given generously to lighten our burdens, we are so grateful. And many of you have done them all! We are astounded by your outpouring of love and support, uplifting encouragement, and immense generosity.

Thank you for standing beside us. For lifting us up. For making me more KatStrong than ever.

Love you all!
Kat
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$42,725 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 526 people in 12 months
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