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Kirsten: A Survivor Story

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

Throughout Hockey Fights Cancer Month, the Islanders are recognizing people who have overcome giant obstacles and survived this terrible disease. Five of these special survivors are members of the Survivors Facing Forward Program at Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, located in Great Neck, NY. Today, let’s meet Kirsten…

Kirsten, Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Survivor
Diagnosed at age 7

At age 7 I was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML). Shortly after my body rejected my first bone marrow transplant, I relapsed and was diagnosed with CML, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. My parents learned of a new technology called preimplantation genetic diagnosis which could help them have another child that would be a perfect match for my bone marrow. My twin brothers beside me ultimately saved my life.

At age 16 I am six years off treatment and a patient of the Survivors Facing Forward program at Cohen Children’s Medical Center. I recently had a huge party to celebrate my 16th birthday! I am currently a junior at Kellenberg Memorial High School where I have maintained a 96 average while also playing for the softball team. After graduation, I intend to go to college and eventually work towards my goal of becoming a pediatric oncologist.

As a leading center of pediatric oncology, the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York sees approximately 200 new cases of childhood cancer every year. This results in hundreds of childhood cancer survivors requiring ongoing care. Survivors Facing Forward is a program designed to meet the complex needs of these survivors, as well as others from the New York area. The program crosses disciplines, providing coordinated access to oncology, endocrinology, pulmonology, cardiology, psychology, nutrition and other specialists as needed. For more information, CLICK HERE.

If you have a story you’d like to share from a friend, family member, co-worker or yourself, please feel free to send it our way, along with some pictures, at

Cancer doesn’t take a day off and neither will the Islanders organization as we join the fight to find a cure for cancer. If you’d like to team up with the Islanders fight and help more patients survive like Kirsten, you can make a donation by CLICKING HERE.

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