Kiersten = Z.

KierstenA while back I wrote about a young woman’s battle with cancer:

I met her once at an art class. We shared a table. She cheerfully told me about how she does art in between chemo sessions. If there is a gene for optimism, she had it.

Here is her obituary, which will appear in today’s Star Ledger:

Kiersten E. Hickman-Perfetti, 22, of Highland Park died at home with her parents after an almost 4-year battle with cancer on April 23.

Kiersten was born in New Brunswick New Jersey on July 5, 1985. She attended public school in Highland Park. Kiersten played varsity basketball, threw the shot put, discus and javelin, and managed the football and baseball teams at Highland Park High School. She swam at the YM/YWHA and the University Swim Club from ages 5 to 14. Kiersten was an avid music lover. She played the clarinet was in the high school band.

Kiersten attended Goucher College in Towson, Maryland for her freshman year in college 2003-2004. Kier played basketball at Goucher College her freshman year, and she was awarded an honorary degree by Goucher in 2007. She was an avid Rutgers Women’s basketball fan and friend to the team, and a member of the Rutgers Cager’s Club. The RU women’s bball team dedicated their 2007-08 season to Kier. Kier enjoyed scrapbooking, reading, Sudoku, crossword puzzles, music, and movies. She took art lessons. Kiersten loved children and became an important person in the lives of many children in Highland Park and at the Children’s Hospital of Philly.

During her illness Kiersten developed a list of things to accomplish. She went to The Daily Show four times and met Jon Stewart, who was very kind to her. We thank Jon Stewart and Teri Abrams. She went to the Ellen DeGeneres Show, several Fab Faux concerts, Saturday Night Live, The Lion King, Rent, the WNBA 2007 All-Star game, and the NCAA 2007 Final Four women’s BB game. Kier also started a foundation, Kier’s Kidz, to raise money for research into the treatment and cure of pediatric cancer.

Kiersten is survived by her mother, Mimi Hickman-Perfetti, her father, Larry Perfetti, her brother, Keith Hickman-Perfetti, and her grandmother, Betty Perfetti of Maple Shade, NJ. Her other grandparents, Al Perfetti, and George and Nancy Hickman, predeceased her. She has numerous other relatives and friends.

Viewings will be held on Sunday, April 27, from 2-4 pm and 7-9 pm at Jacqui-Kuhn Funeral Home, 17 S. Adelaide Ave., Highland Park, NJ. Full memorial services will held on Sunday, May 4, at 2pm, at Kirkpatrick Chapel, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.

In lieu of flowers, Kier would appreciate your making a contribution to: Kier’s Kidz Lemonade Stand, c/o Alex’s Lemonade Stand, 333 E. Lancaster Avenue, #414, Wynnewood, PA 19096.

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