Teddi Dance for Love Dedicated to Fisher Student
She was a Camp Good Days and Special Times camper for almost a decade, and even spent one summer as a counselor-in-training. But, she was a Fisher student for just a few months before having to withdraw because her cancer returned. Kristina Feane was a fighter, battling the disease on and off for nearly 15 of her 18 years on this earth.
Kristina’s mother, Sharon Feane, said her daughter chose Fisher because of all the College’s ties to Camp.
“She made the campers her life focus. She chose Fisher so she could give all of her energy to do more for the campers. She wanted to be involved for life,” said Sharon.
Kristina was born on September 21, 1993. Her mom says she was a happy, healthy baby. Three short years later, she suffered a seizure, which led to the diagnosis of a large brain tumor. She underwent surgery, where the tumor was partially removed and determined to be a low-grade benign tumor.
While the doctors did put restrictions on her activities, Kristina had a happy childhood, enjoying swimming lessons, ice skating lessons, and basketball camp. An outside kid, she loved rollerblading and spending time with her friends.
In 1999, after starting kindergarten, Feane went in for a routine MRI, which revealed that her tumor was now growing and she faced more surgery, which she quickly recovered from.
In the summer of 2002, she needed a third surgery on the tumor, with a follow-up treatment plan that included chemotherapy. She was in fourth grade, and suffered weekly 8-10 hour days of chemotherapy infusion. According to her mom, that was Kristina’s hardest summer. She lost a lot of friends, and became depressed. Her mom reached out to her doctors asking for help, and they suggested Camp Good Days and Special Times.
While Kristina was a bit scared to attend camp that first summer, Sharon encouraged her to try it out. After only a couple days on Keuka Lake, she was hooked.
“After that first experience at camp, she was a lifer,” said Sharon. “She went every year and made new friends – friends who didn’t judge or notice her bald head and many scars.”
Sharon calls her daughter’s journey an amazing one. She was able to travel during remissions, taking a trip courtesy of Make-A-Wish, traveling to Walt Disney World with Camp Good Days over Thanksgiving one year, and vacationing in California, Maine, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and New York City. In July of 2010, due to her academic achievements, she even had an opportunity to travel to China as a student ambassador with the People-to-People Organization. Kristina also had a flair for drama. Voted “Most Dramatic” during her senior year of high school, she had a love for the stage.
“She never gave up, and refused to ever play the pity card, as she used to say,” said Sharon. “She valued her friends and was extremely loyal to them. The love she had for her family was a special gift.”
When she started her freshman year at Fisher in 2011, she immediately became involved with the Teddi Committee. But her health soon failed her again, and by November, she had to withdraw, always intending to return in spring 2012.
The cancer returned, Stage IV, and even with surgical intervention, chemotherapy, and daily radiation, both Sharon and Kristina knew the end was near.
“She still always smiled and told me, ‘I love you, you’re perfect,’” remembers Sharon.
Kristina, who had a goal of becoming a lawyer, fought as hard as she could. On May 3, 2012, she passed away in her home surrounded by her family.
And so, on February 8 and 9, as Fisher students dance for love for the 31st year, they will remember their fellow student, dedicating the dance to her.
"Kristina seemed like an obvious choice to the committee as a whole. We usually look to Camp to help us out with a camper to dedicate the dance to, but this year things are a little closer to home for everyone,” said Danielle Allington, Chair of the 2013 Teddi Dance for Love. “Kristina was a member of the committee and even though it was only for a short time, her spirit and desire to be a part of the committee rubbed off on everyone. When it came time to think about the dedication, Kristina stood out in our minds and I am really glad that we are getting to honor such a courageous and spirited girl."
Dedication hour will take place Saturday night from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. The Feane family will be there to accept a plaque, dancers will watch a special slideshow dedication, and the traditional balloon launch in Kristina’s memory will take place outside of the Student Life Center.
Check out photos from Commencement 2016 on Flickr!
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