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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Touching Story - Katie Kirkpatrick

January 15, 2005.

21-year-old Katie Kirkpatrick — the girl “with a contagious smile and unrelenting optimism” who had been battling cancer for three years and even took part in champion cyclist Lance Armstrong’s Ride for the Roses cancer fundraiser — married 23 year-old Lapeer County sheriff’s deputy Nick Goodwin, her high school sweetheart and the love of her life, at Church of Christ in Hazel Park, Michigan.

This picture was taken prior to their wedding January 11th, 2005.

Katie has terminal cancer and spends hours in chemotherapy.
Here Nick awaits while she finishes one of the sessions...


Even in pain and dealing with her organs shutting down, with the help of morphine,
Katie took care of every single part of the wedding planning.
Her dress had to be adjusted several times due to Katie 's constant weight loss.


An expected guest was her oxygen tank. Katie had to use it during the ceremony and reception.
The other couple in this picture is Nick's parents, very emotional with the wedding and to see their
Son marrying the girl he fell in love when he was an adolescent.


Katie , in a wheel chair listening to her husband and friends singing to her.


In the middle of the party, Katie had to rest for a bit and catch her breath.
The pain does not allow her to stand for long period of time.


Katie died 5 days after her wedding. Watching a woman so ill and weak getting married and with a smile on her face makes us think - Happiness is reachable, no matter how long it last. We should stop making our lives complicated.


Origins:
On Valentine's Day 2002, Katie Kirkpatrick, then a freshman at Rochester College (a small Christian college in Rochester Hills, Michigan) was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Undaunted, Katie strove to keep up with her studies, but she suffered another setback in 2003 when she was diagnosed with "an inoperable lung tumor wrapped around her pulmonary artery." Nonetheless, in 2004 the resilient Katie took part in champion cyclist Lance Armstrong's "Ride for the Roses" cancer fundraiser.

Dr. Craig Bowman of the Bible faculty spearheaded a campus and area-wide effort that raised $28,000 which made one of Katie's dreams come true: riding with six-time Tour de France winner and fellow cancer survivor Lance Armstrong in his Ride for the Roses cancer fundraiser.

Says Katie of Armstrong, "I like his attitude and his perseverance. I admire him for the way he dealt with his cancer, and his attitude: 'You know what, this isn't going to beat me!'"

On 15 January 2005, 21-year-old Katie the girl "with a contagious smile and unrelenting optimism" who had been battling cancer for three years married Lapeer County sheriff's deputy Nick Godwin, her high school sweetheart and the love of her life, at Church of Christ in Hazel Park, Michigan. Katie Kirkpatrick Godwin passed away at the McLaren Regional Medical Center in Flint, Michigan, on 20 January 2005, just five days after her wedding. Her husband, Nick, said of the wedding and Katie's passing: "It was wonderful. It was a dream come true. She was the most beautiful angel ever; just caring and selfless, and such an inspiration to everyone. She was always smiling no matter what happened, no matter what news she got. She was as close to perfect as they come."

She did not let sickness stop her from living, take away the hope or faith that made her believe she had a future. She had a lovely wedding and she had love and she gave love and love doesn't die. And that is how Katie beat cancer.


Additional photographs of Katie and her wedding can be viewed on the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) web site.