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Krystabelle (called KB by her family) loves to read, color and do puzzles. She is a kid that likes to stand out. Right now, she wants to become a baby doctor and go into the Navy when she grows up. She also doesn’t like the medicine she has to take for her cancer, but who would?
February 4, 2011 started as a normal day for KB. She was playing with her brother at home when suddenly she lost all her energy and couldn’t go to the bathroom. By the time her parents felt the tumor, it was the middle of night and a bad snowstorm had hit their area. It took 45 minutes to get to the hospital. KB had X-rays, then was sent to St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Her family was in shock. On February 9, when she was only 4 years old, KB was diagnosed with stage IV embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma.
Today, KB has undergone 43 rounds of chemotherapy and 30 rounds of radiation. She’s a hero to her mom, Corri, because she has shown her what true strength and determination is. She’s never let anything hold her back – despite the many side effects from chemo, KB just looks at the situation and says, “How can I change this?” or “If I can’t do it this way, is there another way?”
Doctors said KB wouldn’t live to see 5. She is now 16 years old.
KB is an inspiration to everyone she meets. When one of her adult neighbors was diagnosed with lung cancer, he saw KB riding her bike one day after radiation and said to Corri, “I’m sorry for feeling sorry for myself. I don’t want to do the treatments because they are hard and painful. But if she can be brave and go through her treatments, I can too.”
Her family’s hopes and dreams are that no family has to go through childhood cancer. They also want KB to be a brave and strong young lady. Corri wants to tell other families who might be experiencing a childhood cancer diagnosis that it’s a long road, but take the help your friends and family give you. Listen to your kid because it’s their body and they know how it feels. KB was only 4 but told Corri so much, whether she was in pain or if the chemo made her feel funny. Let them talk to their doctors too. Talk to other parents going through this. Pray over them. Include the other kids in your family. KB’s siblings, Alex and AJ, went to the hospital often to visit KB and Corri talked to them as much as possible.
Seeing other kids hold lemonade stands and fundraisers for their friends is so heartwarming to Corri. Some kids have done the same for KB. To Corri, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation means hope for a cure and treatments that are made for kids, not adults.
Hero quote: “Get out and play, don’t let it hold you back. I wanted to be with my friends and family. Stay strong and don’t let them tell you that you can’t do that.” – KB
Information provided by Corri Wiles, KB’s mom
Updated February 2023
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