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Belle Vernon woman's 'Mommy Bucket List' seeks end to cancer

| Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, 7:29 p.m.
Kate Crawford (center) of Belle Vernon gets help at her lemonade stand from (from left) daughter Grace Crawford, friend Jennifer DeWitt, son Stephen Crawford and daughter Lily Crawford.

Kate Crawford hopes a humble lemonade stand in the Mon Valley this month will reach two goals: Raising money to help cancer patients and accomplishing another item on her “Mommy bucket list.”

Crawford, 29, of Belle Vernon, was diagnosed in January with stage four metastatic breast cancer. The wife and mother of three drafted a “Mommy bucket list” of dreams and experiences she wants to share with her family.

So far, she's completed several items, including: Buy kids a swing set, teach kids to fly a kite, take kids to the aviary, see a dolphin in its natural habitat. Still on the list: Teach kids to read, take kids to the drive-in, watch kids have babies, live to see cancer cured.

One item on the list, “have lemonade stands with the kids,” is in the works during October. Crawford has already raised more than half of her lemonade stand fundraiser's $3,000 goal, much of which will benefit research.

“To me, I think of the kids,” Crawford said about the importance of the fundraiser. “It's important to find a cure not only for me but for the other moms that are going to be stripped away from their children or for the children that are going to die from cancer. It's time for a cure. It's just time.”

The lemonade stand, called “LemonAID the Cure,” is traveling throughout the Mon Valley area, including Belle Vernon and Monongahela, offering lemonade at 50 cents per glass, lollipops and information about the organizations benefiting from the fundraiser.

Crawford said she noticed the need for funds to directly benefit research, especially as the number of young women diagnosed with breast cancer increases.

Of the proceeds, $2,000 will be given to Magee-Womens Research Institute and Foundation, and $500 will benefit UPMC Cancer Center at Magee-Womens Hospital. The remaining $500 will be used to buy colorful decals for IV bags, which are “shown to increase the overall wellness of a patient,” Crawford said.

Crawford will host a lemonade stand at Magee, where she goes for weekly chemotherapy treatments.

Other future stops include Belle Vernon Football Stadium, 6-7:30 p.m. Friday; Greater Rostraver Chamber of Commerce, noon-3 p.m. Saturday; and Checkers Boutique, 2-5 p.m. Oct. 29

She's now in her ninth consecutive month of chemotherapy. Doctors gave Crawford less than a 5 percent chance of being cured.

“I understand what's going on, and I know how bad it is. But I'm not going to (curl) up ... and cry,” she said. “If we can get money and find a cure for breast cancer, then I won't have to worry about it.”

Crawford's form of cancer is particularly aggressive.

After her diagnosis, she felt compelled to create the “Mommy bucket list.”

“It's all the things that I want to see my kids do. And all the things I want my kids to know of my dreams,” she said. “I know I'll never go to Ireland, but I want my kids to know that's one thing I wanted to do.”

Crawford said her family — husband Steve, 5-year-old twins Grace and Lily and 3-year-old Stephen Jr. — is “very, very close.”

“I have lived a good life. I don't need or want for much more; but when it comes to my children, husband and family, there are still a lot of things that I would like to experience with them,” Crawford wrote on her website called “The Chronicles of Cancer: The Mom, the Breast and the IV Pole.” “We are young. Too young to have mortality shoved in our faces.”

Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or

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