Amanda Riley Foundation

Supporting Children Battling Cancer
      Making a SMILE at a time! 

Kristen's Story

Kristen Wells was a happy, beautiful 15 year old in the summer of 2013. She had spent the summer working hard on her volleyball skills at different camps. The nightmare began when she began mentioning to me that her left leg hurt. We assumed it was overuse, that she just needed to take a break. Ha, telling Kristen to take a break that makes me smile because, she worked hard at whatever she did. Once school started and daily volleyball practices got underway, she took herself out of practice one day because of the pain. We went to the doctor. An MRI showed a fracture in the upper left part of her femur/hip area. The fracture did not heal, so in October 2013, Kristen had surgery to put 3 screws in the fracture to help it heal. It still didn’t heal and pain increased.

After several trips to the ER to try to get her some relief from the pain, they decided to draw blood because she was running a low grade fever. It blows my mind even to this day that the MRI didn’t reveal what was really on Kristen’s leg. On December 10, 2013, we got the devastating news that Kristen had Metastatic Ewings Sarcoma. It had spread to her right shoulder, and several areas in her right leg and pelvis as well. She cried when we told her, then she got her courage up and decided to fight this horrible disease.

Chemotherapy began and then Kristens leg broke yet again, this time it was a complete break. She was put in a Spica cast, basically a body cast because of how high up the break was. During the months in the hospital Kristen just shined, her little light made people want to be around her, she made them laugh. Kristen would only allow a few friends to visit her. When they did visit, they watched movies and ate popcorn and laughed. Her boyfriend, was such a huge support, he came to see her often and just loved on her, brought her gifts, flowers and joy. Even in such pain and being so sick from chemotherapy side effects, she dug deep and made the best of her situation.

In June 2013, Kristen had a stem cell transplant, it didn’t work, none of the cancer was even touched by the extreme chemotherapy she endured. She had a rod put in her leg finally in August of 2014. She spent weeks in the Rehab unit gaining strength and learning to use a walker. Kristen made friends where ever she went, she smiled and laughed and continued to touch peoples lives each day in the hospital .In early September Kristen’s last hope of killing the cancer was daily radiation treatment. About week 2 of radiation treatment, she began having some trouble taking deep breaths and was pale. We went to the ER where an x-ray showed Pneumonia, we later found out that it wasn’t pneumonia, but cancer had spread throughout her lungs. Her breathing got more labored and by morning. Kristen had been taken to the ICU where they had to intubate her and keep her sedated. That was the last time we were able to have a conversation with her.

We just sat for weeks and held her hand and kissed her precious head, praying so hard for her recovery. On October 9, 2014, Kristen was received in to heaven. Kristen’s older brother, John, said to me after Kristen passed away, “Kristen was a beautiful soul.” She truly was a beautiful soul. We will always miss her terribly, but we are so thankful and blessed to have known her and loved her.