Honored Kid

Krista Bell

Krista Bell Kid Photo


Cinnaminson, NJ, US


Ewing sarcoma

Date of Diagnosis

February 2004



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My Story

Join the team if you want just let me know that is all I ask. The Saint Baldrick's Team website to donate to the cause for Pennsauken's Bravest is: http://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/team_info.html?TeamKey=2008|1543&ViewDetails=heroes A poem for Krista: When asked, "Do you believe in angels?" I always answer first, "yes of course. infact, I knew an angel living here on earth." Krista's story is unlike any other, and I only wish they all could hear, of a girl with the world against her, yet living day by day without fear. From the beginning, Krista cheered with all her heart and soul. It made her who she was, perfect. with a perfect heart of gold. She believed in helping others, even before she helped herself, however no one could help Krista, nor could they feel the pain she felt. One day, so unexpected, we received the news we could not bear, It was a day like any other, only Krista was not there. We were told that she was sick, and a cure was not known, it was a form of cancer that in Krista, it had found itself a home. But she was strong, & a fighter, she wouldn't let it take her down. & even in her lowest moments, she found a way to be around. From the sidelines, she would scream until she was weak without a voice. & we all knew she'd be with us, if only it would have been her choice. she was so determined to be better, she heard nothing of defeat. she was by far, the most AMAZING person that I could ever meet. & soon enough, with a bandana and a smile on her face, Krista took the floor and returned to her favorite place. The battle was long and difficult, & Krista never gave up faith. But God had other plans for her, & her life was his to take. He saw her growing weaker, he knew her pain would never go away. December 9th, we woke to find that Krista left us all that day. & though our hearts were broken, & nothing seemed the same, we can not help but smile at the mention of her name. Krista never took a backward step, despite her declining health, she was capable of living for someone other then herself. Two families lost a member, one that could never be replaced. & no matter who comes and goes, there remains an empty space. Yet in our hearts she will remain, for there, she never will leave. She is in the stars that shine at night, shes in the air we breathe. moving on may not be easy, although we know that we all must, . . but Krista is forever, she lives on through all of us. Rest in Peace Krista Bell. 12-9-07 I love you SO much. Sleep Well Babygirl. Teen cheered her way through battle with cancer Krista Marie Bell began cheering for the regional Pop Warner League in second grade and the sport helped her personality flower. Through a four-year battle with cancer that took up far too much of her teens, Krista Marie Bell whooped loudly from many a sideline. But the champion cheerleader's silent mantra went something like this: "I've got a life to live. Let's get this treatment going . . . Let's go." "Cancer," says her father, Ken, "was a bump in the road." Before Ewing's sarcoma took her life last month at age 19, Krista Bell had willed herself through medical hell. At age 15, she had 20 percent of the muscle in her left leg removed to combat Ewing's, a cancer of the bone and soft tissue that first showed up on her thigh. Her doctor told her she would have to use crutches for 10 weeks; she gave them two. Two years ago, the cancer spread to Bell's lungs, often choking the breath from her windpipe and forcing her to sleep upright. Doctors cut open her sternum and removed 11 tumors. Still, she cheered, once in the company of the Philadelphia Eagles squad, and always in competitions with her regular troupe, New Jersey Spirit Explosion All-Star Cheerleaders. Hairless from chemotherapy, she eschewed wigs in favor of bandannas, the better to keep her headpiece from moving during competitions and disqualifying her whole team. She insisted on scheduling chemotherapy around her competitions and was rarely too weak to give it her all. When she did have to take the bench at a 2004 Dallas competition, she cried as her squad performed without her. Most of the time, say her parents, Bell refused to dwell on her illness and cleared the hurdles of cancer as forcefully as she and her stunt squad vaulted a member into the air in a cheerleading catapult. Bell told the Courier-Post in a 2006 interview, "I try to always stay positive. There is no need to sit in my room and cry because that's not going to make it go away." "She always had confidence that anyone who came near her would have the answer . . ." Ken Bell says. "We always told her, "Tomorrow is a new day. Each day you get a fresh piece of paper and you draw a new picture.' She always took life that way." That life began, says Bell's mother, Terri, as a "happy surprise," nine years after the birth of her older sister, Tara. Krista Bell began cheering for the regional Pop Warner League in second grade and the sport helped her personality flower. "She developed into a person who loved to perform . . ." Ken Bell says. "She wasn't intimidated." Other passions included dancing, modeling, trips to the Cherry Hill Mall with friends -- "she loved clothes," says Terri Bell -- and four indulged cats named Peanuts, Socks, Gizmo and Simba. "She had a touch with those animals," Ken says. "She just had a way with them." A brief college career at William Paterson University in Wayne, he recalls, transformed his daughter from an average student who tended to leave her room a mess to one who excelled in classes and kept her living space "absolutely spotless." "You couldn't keep her away from school. She liked the independence," he said. Rosie DellaFave was Bell's college roommate, an indispensable friend Terri and Ken Bell say helped their daughter cope with her illness at school. But DellaFave sees it differently. So homesick was the North Carolina native when she got to Paterson, she gladly tucked herself under Krista's wing. "I believe she was put into my life for a reason," explained the 19-year-old. "I had a lot to leave behind when I left North Carolina. She really inspired me to be a better person. "She always had a smile on her face, and could always make me feel better." Krista's cancer, remembered DellaFave, didn't get in the way of car rides, frequent viewings of "The Wizard of Oz" and "acting silly." "She took it in stride," DellaFave says. "I helped her, but she did just as much, if not more, to help me. "There's so much I could say." Ken Bell can relate. "I could talk about her for days," he mused. "She stole everybody's heart. And that's going to keep us going." Contact Christina Mitchell at (856) 317-7905 or cmitchell@courierpostonline.com

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