Kara is a native New Yorker, currently residing in Santa Fe, NM. She is an up and coming competitive boxer preparing for my professional debut this fall. Kara is also a florist, a craftswoman, and a Ewings Sarcoma cancer survivor!
What was your cancer diagnosis and how was it discovered?
My diagnosis was Ewings Sarcoma. It was discovered incidentally when I was rear ended by a van while stopped at a red light. I had a back injury and my Dr. ordered an MRI upon which a malignant tumor was discovered.
What is the biggest piece of advice you have for newly diagnosed patients?
After a hard rain the sun will shine again.
What is the most important thing you learned from your cancer experience?
That I was born to fight, cancer was the biggest fight of my life and I am also a boxer preparing for my first professional fight. When I was diagnosed I thought my dreams had been shattered, but now I have realized that nothing can stop me. I feel its so important to give back to the community so I hope I can be an example to others to continue to fight and to shine bright and immensely.
What was the most difficult aspect of organizing your care/community?
The most difficult aspect was finding connection and support with other young adults who were going through a similar experience. I was treated in pediatrics as a 27 year old and the nurses and doctors were absolutely incredible. I would spend time in the designated "Teen Room" and it was great, however I would have liked to have more access to a young adult support network.
What are three words you would use to describe your cancer experience?
Courage, Perspective, Love
Are there products, services, experiences or physicians that you couldn't be without?
My nurses at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital Maria, "Sergeant Paulette," Jamie and Su. My first round of chemo was spent hitting pads in a cubicle at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Hospital simultaneously connected to machines and IV with a meditation coach and martial arts instructor named Robin. He would walk throughout the halls offering patients the option to to either hit pads or do a guided mediation with him as a form of therapy. He became an integral figure to my connection with boxing during chemotherapy and in subsequent rounds guided meditations on what it truly means to be a fighter.
In terms of products I would say a fleece hat, slipper socks, Biotene mouthwash, and a heat pad. IS Clinical also makes some nice cancer friendly skin care products.