The End Brain Cancer Initiative is pleased to announce that Kristen McQueen is the 2019 National HOPE Award winner presented by Novocure. Kristen was selected following a national outreach campaign to nominate a brain cancer patient who most embodies HOPE in facing this disease. Kristen was selected in part due to her work with Camp "Mak-A-Dream" where she mentors children facing cancer in themselves or a family member. Kristen will receive the award and share her story at the May 16th Brains Matter Dinner.
Kristin McQueen doesn’t only have a cool last name, amazing sense of humor, or an inoperable brain tumor. She has compassion, empathy, a view on the world like no other. I have never met someone so willing to drop everything she is doing to help other people.
She is a mentor at Camp Mak-A-Dream, she fills other kids like her with hope, laughter, and emotion. When you have something like an inoperable brain tumor, you have a choice. You have the choice to sulk in darkness and anger, or you can rise above it to spread awareness and make the best out of an unbearable situation. Kristin chose to do everything in her power to light up the lives of as many people as possible. Kristin keeps in touch with all of her campers. She is constantly talking with them through their diseases because who better to understand what they are going through than someone who has been and is also going through it. Kristin helps these kids understand themselves and understand how to deal with the people around them who don’t. She has talked with them out of depression and self harm, through her own experiences. When I say Kristin drops everything she is doing to help, I mean everything. Sometimes I think she forgets that she can take a second to herself, but she always finds a way to make it work.
In addition to Camp Mak-A-Dream, she participates in walks to raise awareness and many discussion groups. Kristin suffers through nonstop headaches that are more severe than any migraine; which get worse based on the weather, loud noises and traveling, the amount of water she does or does not drink, the amount of sleep she can muster up, the coursework she has from school and so much more. Yet you never hear her complain, not once. Kristin is going to school to be an industrial engineer because she wants to make the lives of others as simple as possible, even though it causes her pain. One of the most amazing things about Kristin is that even if she receives this award, she’ll believe it belongs to someone else because she is so incredibly selfless. Which is one of the biggest reasons she deserves it the most.Rachel Fetter, friend of Kristin.