In Memory of Kelly Shannon Shea
January 12, 1987 - April 13, 2003
When the Duke University Medical Center had a remembrance event, we were asked for one word that would describe Kelly. It was difficult to come up with one word that would encompass what we wanted to say. Lots of words come to mind...
Courageous: Kelly's courage was beyond belief for a 15 year old to face what she was and at the same time she was trying to bring us comfort. She always fought, never complained.
Brave: Kelly was able to face this challenge, even though there were a lot of lost battles.
Strong: Kelly always put on a positive face and did what was necessary to fight the brain tumor. She even had the strength to tell us on what she wanted at her funeral when she was taken off the medication.
Determined: She was determined to beat the cancer, to advance through school, and to enjoy life.
Loving: She was always thinking of others. Right after coming out of the brain biopsy surgery, she knew that day was an event. It took a little while to remember, but she recalled it was our anniversary. She wanted us to go out and celebrate even though she was in intensive care.
Friendly: She was very outgoing and friendly with everyone. She introduced us to a lot of new friends through her ordeal.
Caring: She often tried to put others in front of her needs even during her last year. She wanted everyone to continue living even though she was being challenged.
The list of words go on and it was hard to come up with just one word.
What was the one word that we chose? Genuine. Kelly was Kelly. She was outgoing, friendly, strong, brave, and demonstrated many other great characteristics that people would love to have. To sum up the impact that Kelly had on us with one word, it is genuine. We can never understand the pain and emotions that she went through. Her bravery and courage were more than what we could imagine. But through her 16 years of life, Kelly was Genuine.