(WLNS) – One year and five months ago, 6 News viewers met a very special young woman named Krysti Quintero.
A 29-year old single mom, with so much life ahead of her who found out, she had breast cancer, and a very aggressive form.
6 News Chivon Kloepfer has followed Krysti’s journey since her diagnosis and has more on the cancer that ultimately, took her life.
“You know, Krysti wanted to share her story with you. She said, you know what, I’d give anything not to have cancer, but if my story can help one person, I’m going to do it,” said Janeice Morrow, Krysti’s mother.
And here we are, telling Krysti’s story for the third time, just shy of two years after doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer.
But this story doesn’t have a happy ending.
“It was really hard when people would say, “she’s in a better place.” I just wanted to say, “No, her better place is here with us, with her son,” said Krysti’s mother.
In May of 2013, Krysti, her mom Janeice and the rest of her family found out she had Triple Negative Breast Cancer.
“My initial thought was, okay, breast cancer, women do really well now a days on breast cancer. She’s young, we’ll get through that, it’ll be okay. And, you know, just the more I read on it, the more I found out about it, it’s like it’s not going to be okay,” said Janeice.
Treatment started immediately. Multiple surgeries chemotherapy, radiation, but nothing could stop it from spreading.
And after suffering through the worst chapter in her life, her life ended.
“About 20 percent of women who have breast cancer have a triple negative tumor. Only about 30 percent of those tumors will respond to chemo therapy,” said Dr. Harvey L. Bumpers, M.D., facs. dir. of breast surgery, MSU.
“It appears to affect mostly younger women. Women who are in the pre-menopausal age group. African Americans are particularly susceptible,” said Dr. Bumpers.
Women in their 20’s fighting breast cancer? It’s still a foreign concept for many people, including some health professionals.
“They kinda checked and then double checked and they were like this is not what I think it is, is it? You know, you’re too young. He said, I’m really sorry, but it did come back, it’s cancer. I couldn’t hold the tears back,” said Krysti.
And in addition to Krysti’s short physical fight, she fought an emotional one, as well.
“Dr. Bumpers would say, okay, when you call for your wig, make sure you tell them you need a cranial prosthesis. I’m writing you a script for it. It’s covered under Blue Cross. She called up and she called me crying at work and said, “Mom, they laughed at me.” What do you mean they laughed at you? “The lady at Blue Cross, I told her I needed a cranial prosthesis and she goes oh, “what, you mean a wig?” She started laughing.
6 News Chivon Kloepfer went to Krysti’s funeral service back in September in Haslett.
And though she only knew her for a short time, Chivon says Krysti’s changed her life forever.
A young woman, very scared and in so much pain. And yet so brave to share the most personal part of her life, with all of you. So that what happened to her doesn’t happen to you.
“I feel comfort in knowing where she’s at because of my faith. I feel comfort knowing she’s not suffering anymore and that’s she’s whole again, and that she’s happy again. I might of only had her for 30 years, but I’m so glad I got those 30 years. Because we had an amazing daughter. I know I’m going to see her again someday,” said Janeice.
Our special Friends For Life series continues Saturday on 6 News at 6 with a preview of mid-Michigan’s Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.