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Kristin Kovach




There are people in this world who truly inspire and make a difference. Sometimes that difference is to the immediate loved ones around them and sometimes that difference is to an entire community through words and spirit. Kristin Kovach is doing all of the above.

Kristin is a wife, a mom, a daughter and a friend. She is someone who loves fearlessly and isn’t afraid to speak up. None of that will ever change but on April 11th, 2018 she got news that would hurtle her into a set of circumstances she couldn’t anticipate. On April 11th Kristin was diagnosed with High Grade Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma. This is an extremely rare cancer that does not respond to chemotherapy and has spread quickly through her body.

This news hit hard for Kristin, her husband Greg and their son Landon. “Clearly this has been very shocking for our family and unexpected,” explains Kristin, “and it has all happened very quickly.” Almost immediately, Kristin started sharing what was happening in her life and in her body.

She is telling her story with an honesty that evokes a gamut of emotions and living a beautiful life regardless of her circumstance. “I like sharing with people,” explains Kristin, “I think dying is something everybody does and nobody talks about. I am just somebody who likes to talk about stuff no matter what it is. I am comfortable sharing and I appreciate that there are people who want to know.” Many family members, friends, acquaintances and complete strangers are following Kristin as she and her family navigate through this together. “It makes me feel better to be honest about what is happening, how I am feeling and what my emotion are,” says Kristin. “To have so many amazing friends that receive that from me and appreciate it and love it has really just been a nice place for me.”

Over the last few months life has changed. Kristin has spent many days with her doctor at Vanderbilt testing treatments to see what may work against her cancer. “Doctor’s all over the United States were trying to figure out what the code is to unlock the cancer in this forty-year old mom,” says Kristin. Since finding out in April, the cancer has spread aggressively through her spine, pelvis, hips and tailbone. In June, Kristin had a tumor that broke her hip. “I didn’t know it was broken,” Kristin laughs. ”I was walking around on it, in extreme pain, but I was still walking around on it. We got hit quickly and hard. Everything was at the highest level and the strongest dose. I have this crazy thing inside of me, the clock is ticking.”

“We wake up every day and try to figure out how to live that day,” says Kristin. “It has been a long, awful summer.” Kristin’s family has covered her with support and exactly the kind of love she needs. “My husband is amazing and has done something I am not sure I could do if the roles were reversed. He has been the best,” she explains. Navigating cancer as a mom is something Kristin has done with enough emotion and love to show Landon she loves him for a thousand lifetimes. “He is the most beautiful child on Earth. I don’t care what anybody else says,” laughs Kristin. “I am still his mom, except I have cancer now. Of course, it is terribly sad for him, for all of us you know. He manages it the same way we do, he has good days and bad days. We try to love and support each other through all of those, that is the only way any of us could possibly deal with this.”

PET scans have shown that cells continue to appear through her body and that none of the treatments they have been pursuing have done the job to get rid of the cancer. This development led Kristin and her family to decide to stop all the treatments and allow her to live the rest of her life as the Kristin that everyone knows and loves as opposed to living sick.

“Any day that I feel good I get out,” says Kristin. “I go to a barre class, I go to lunch with a friend. I try to do something that is reminiscent of my life from just a few months ago. I get around a little slower and I get tired easier but any time that I feel good I am going to go do something.”

Kristin does not hold back when sharing what she is going through. She doesn’t sugar coat it or try to hide what she is truly feeling. She is telling the raw, beautiful and honest truth about cancer. This honesty and her words are a true testament to the kind of person she is and why she has so many friends and family members who truly love her. “It has been very overwhelming in the most beautiful way,” explains Kristin. “I would say we are in a state of constant surprise and gratitude for what Murfreesboro has done for us. It is never ending, there is never a day when someone in this town doesn’t do something wonderful and kind for our family. The love and support has given us a soft place to land during the worst time of our lives. There is no way we could ever repay the people of this town for what they have already done for us. Honestly, it is beyond anything I could ever imagine for myself. It is stunning to be a part of.”

“I think my biggest thing through all of this has just been perspective. I am having to look at things in a different way and I don’t want to become an angry person or a bitter person,” explains Kristin. “I am having to change my perspective on how the rest of my life is going to go. It feels good when you realize that things may not go the way you want them to or expect them to but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be beautiful.”

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