Kristen. | Teen Ink


October 22, 2007
By Anonymous

This speech that I am about to give was written as an assignment for my English class. Our assignment was to give a speech describing someone that we are glad to know. I chose Kristen. I wrote and gave this speech two weeks ago, when we were all still hoping that Kristen would get better.

When my new next-door neighbors moved in during the fall of 2002, I had no idea what they would bring into my life. The oldest daughter, Kristen, is only two years younger than me. She is the type of person you can quickly become friends with, and that is just what happened. We started to hang out a lot on the weekends and during the summer with my other friend Lindsey who lives down the street. We grew very close and saw each other almost every day. Though two years age difference might seem like a lot to some people, it really wasn’t. We acted exactly the same and the only way you could tell there was an age difference was by our height difference. Kristen is a sweet, kind, lovable girl who is always fun to be around. She can always make me laugh and puts a smile on my face every time I’m with her. Kristen can be laid back and relaxed or hyper and obnoxious, but either way we always have a great time. During the summer we spent most of our time on her trampoline. Most of our inside jokes and memories are from these times. If we weren’t on her trampoline, we were swimming in her pool or just having a good time together at one of our houses. Kristen competed in gymnastics and cheerleading, and attends Plum Grove Junior High. At this point you are thinking that I’m describing just another normal teenage girl, but you are so wrong. Kristen was super-duper extraordinary and anything but normal. Kristen has a disease called cystic fibrosis. It builds up mucus in the lungs and makes it difficult for her to breathe and process oxygen. Kristen used to be able to take medicine everyday and live a pretty normal life with her family and friends. She helped raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and got to go to Greece for the 2004 Summer Olympics. However, in October of last year, things took a turn for the worst. Kristen developed an infection in her lungs called cepacia. She went into the hospital for a few weeks and was put on antibiotics. She was doing well, came home and even went back to school for a while, continuing to take lots of medicine. But the bacteria in her lungs were not going away. Cepacia is a rare bacteria that is hard to treat because it is resistant to many antibiotics. Kristen had to go back into the hospital, and ended up losing a lot of weight and had to get a feeding tube. She needed several treatments, medicines, and oxygen each day. Kristen has been in the hospital almost every day since the beginning of December. I have been to visit her many times, and she has good days and bad. It’s nice to see her smile when we walk in the door and I know how much she loves having visitors. Kristen got to come home for Easter weekend to spend time with family and friends. She came over to my house with Lindsey and even though things weren’t exactly how they used to be, we still had a great time. She had so much strength and courage to come over and spend time with us and I know she loved being out of that hospital bed. It meant so much to her and even me and Lindsey to hang out just like old times.
The bacteria in Kristen’s lungs have deteriorated them so much that she now needs a double lung transplant. She was recently moved to the Milwaukee hospital to be tested and wait to get onto the transplant list. The good news is that Kristen just got accepted onto the list about two weeks ago, so the future looks brighter for her. During these past few months, Kristen has taught me so much about life. She has showed me exceptional strength, courage and perseverance. There were times when she told me she just wanted to give up and die so she wouldn’t have to suffer anymore, or that she wished the bacteria would go away so she could go back to being a normal fourteen year old girl. But Kristen never gave up on herself, and that has taught me to never give up on myself either. She has taught me to appreciate my life and not take things for granted. I could not even imagine going through what she has had to go through at such a young age, but I admire her tremendously for it. She always had a smile on, even through the toughest of times. Hopefully, Kristen will soon get to go back to being the fun loving, sweet girl I know her as. She is my hero and someone I am truly glad to know and have in my life.

As we all know, Kristen’s situation continued to get worse. She began having kidney, liver and heart troubles along with her bad lungs and was inactivated on the transplant list. Kristen’s family finally decided to make the agonizing decision to let their little angel go back home to God. Kristen passed away on May 11, 2007. She has gone to a better place in Heaven where she won’t have to suffer anymore. She would want everyone to be happy for her, but it can be hard to be happy when you lose someone as special as Kristen from your life. She has affected so many people in so many ways and there were so many people that loved her. As one of her many admirers said, “If love could have saved Kristen, she would have lived forever.” And now she will live forever in Heaven as an angel of God.

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