Many of you will remember Karen Dwyer Jones, the courageous stage IV breast cancer patient who inspired her nephew, Andrew Fantaskey, and his BAT-L Up Against Breast Cancer program. Sadly, we lost this dear friend in October, but her legacy lives on, as shared by these words from her sister.
To Our Friends at the Komen Philadelphia Affiliate,
It is with great sadness that I share with you that my sister, Karen passed away Sunday morning. Since July, she had really been having some rough days and difficult times. We found out in mid-August that the cancer had spread to many of her organs and more into her bones. She was in bed most of the time, with a lot of pain and exhaustion. Over Labor Day weekend, she had difficulty walking and lost feeling in her legs, had incontinence, etc. At first doctors thought it might be a side effect from the pain meds, but we found out later that week, after a spinal tap, that the cancer had spread to her spinal fluid and the lining of her brain. She spent 10 days in the hospital, but she wanted to come home. So she came home two weeks ago. She was still at this point determined to continue her fight and go for treatments, but last week, the doctors and she realized that the treatments were not helping, and she was not strong enough to endure them. She was on hospice care for 10 days and died Sunday morning.
She was such a wonderful person and her grace, faith and courage have inspired so many. The Penn State Breast Center at Hershey has set up a fund in her name to benefit patients who cannot afford breast care, it is called the Karen Dwyer-Jones Patient Fund.
I wanted to thank you and your staff for all you do for people like my sister, and for the hospitality you all showed to us during the Call for the Cure and Race for the Cure. She has left us with many gifts, and the courage and grace with which she fought this battle. Most importantly, she has taught my children the gifts of compassion and being supportive of others during difficult times.