Saturday, August 05, 2006

Krissie's Page

Krissie Griffiths left us at 2:57 am on Sunday, January 19th, 1997, after a long and heroic battle against non-Hodgkins lymphoma under the exceptional care of Dr. George Waltuch (and many, many others). When it became clear her treatment was not going to be successful, she had no fear of death, only of dying alone. Her final hours were spent at Stanford University Hospital in the company of her husband Karl, her sister-in-law Therese, The Rev. Margaret Irwin, and her close friends Marc and Lynn Macy.
While not concerned about herself at the end, she was very concerned about her friends, and wanted them all to know that she was at peace with dying. She especially wanted everyone to celebrate life, not mourn death, and to that end wanted her memorial services to be a celebration of life. Two such celebrations were held, for the convenience of friends in her long-time home of Los Angeles and her recently adopted home in the San Francisco Bay Area

Friday, August 04, 2006

Memorials - Cancer Research

During her treatment, Krissie participated in a clinical trial at Stanford Medical Center. After many years of fighting against medical research using animals, arguing that all too often the results are only marginally applicable to humans (even if we have the right to experiment on other species), she welcomed the chance to serve as a more appropriate subject. She was struck, though, by the biography of Dr. Alan Yuen, her doctor during the study, which explained how much doctors give up by pursuing research careers, with comparatively meager funding, when they could do much better in private practice.
Krissie had wanted to find a good way to get contributions to where they'll do the most good for doctors who have sacrificed more financially rewarding career paths to focus on the personally rewarding goal of helping eradicate cancer, without paying the heavy overhead costs of many formal cancer organizations. So far, a good way to do this hasn't turned up. Suggestions would be most welcome!