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Rostraver woman with cancer, family raise thousands for fighting disease

| Thursday, March 26, 2015, 12:01 a.m.
Andrew Russell | Trib Total Media
Kate Crawford, 31, of Rostraver and a patient with stage IV breast cancer, rings the Chemo Graduation Bell, which was her idea, for the first time in celebration of the money she has raised through her LemonAID the Cure project, at Magee-Womens Hospital in Oakland, Wednesday, March 25, 2015.

When Kate Crawford was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer in January 2013, doctors gave her a 15 percent chance of surviving for five years.

She and her husband and their three children put together a “mommy bucket list” — things they wanted to accomplish together during Crawford's lifetime, including raising funds for cancer research, said Crawford, 31, a Rostraver resident.

She thought it important that patients of UPMC Cancer Center at Magee-Womens Hospital be able to mark milestones in their battles against the disease. That milestone marker recently came in the form of a bell, nicknamed “the chemo graduation bell,” that Crawford donated to the cancer center.

“When they're done with (chemotherapy), they ring the bell,” she said Wednesday during a gathering to showcase the bell.

With LemonAID the Cure — a lemonade stand — and other fundraisers, Crawford and her family have raised about $30,000 since 2013 to benefit the Magee-Womens Research Institute & Foundation, the UPMC Cancer Center at Magee and other cancer research organizations.

Last month in Atlanta, Kids II Inc., a baby product company, honored Crawford and seven other women as Pink Power Moms who have personal connections to breast cancer and who have helped others. Each woman chose a charity that would receive $9,000 over five years. Crawford chose the Magee foundation, which has received a $5,000 check.

A positive outlook such as Crawford's can make a positive impact in a cancer patient's fight against the disease, said Dr. Adam Brufsky, director of the Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center at Magee and Crawford's oncologist.

“She's living with it. She's not letting it dominate her life,” Brufsky said.

Crawford's cancer has spread to her liver, spine and pelvis, but she describes her condition as stable. She receives hormone therapy every three weeks, she said.

“I feel good. I'm doing well,” she said.

The Magee-Womens Research Institute & Foundation raises money for clinical care that is not covered by insurance, as well as for research, said Arthur Scully III, vice president of development and communications for the institute and foundation.

“It's amazing to us that people who have gone through a disease … how much they want to give back,” he said.

Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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