Kathryn L. Deneroff ’12

Kathryn L. Deneroff ’12 died on February 13, 2024, in Brookline, Massachusetts.

(The following was provided by Github.io on February 13, 2024:)

Kathryn L. Deneroff ’12

This space is dedicated to celebrating the life and spirit of Kathryn Deneroff, whose journey through cancer was marked not just by the challenges she faced, but by the incredible resilience, joy, and love she shared along the way. Below, you will find stories from different phases of her journey, from the initial diagnosis to the cherished moments spent with loved ones, offering a window into the vibrancy with which she lived every moment.

Kathryn’s story is shared with the hope that it not only honors her memory, but also inspires others to support cancer research.

2019 – Initial Diagnosis and Chemo

2019 brought a mix of challenge and joy for Kathryn. Despite facing a tough diagnosis in April and then beginning chemotherapy and enduring four surgeries, the year was also filled with moments of love and support. Kathryn stood beside her friends as a bridesmaid, explored Newport with Sid, and found joy in simple pleasures. From learning to walk again, to enjoying music during treatment, Kathryn found genuine moments of resilience, friendship, and love. The difficult days of treatment were brightened by visits from dear friends and cherished family gatherings. From celebrating Thanksgiving, carving pumpkins, and reveling in the warmth of Christmas with her parents, brother, and Sid, each moment was a reminder of the strength found in togetherness.

2020 – Recovery and Adventure

As 2020 dawned, Kathryn marked a significant milestone by completing her first round of chemotherapy in January. Soon after, the world shifted into the quiet of lockdown. Amidst the isolation, Kathryn turned to nature and wellness as her sanctuary; embracing walking, biking, and exercise to rebuild her strength. A long car journey back to her family home in Michigan became a retreat, where cooking, enjoying backyard marshmallows, and playing board games became fun activities. Summer and fall of 2020 were filled with sunshine, the outdoors, adventure, and laughter. There were many big milestones: a first hike post-surgery in Massachusetts (Mt Tom State Reservation), kayaking in the Charles, picnicking at Spectacle Island, Apple picking in Northborough, camping in Conway, and visiting Maine with her parents. Winter also heralded the joyful arrival of Sadie, her mom’s cavapoo!

2021 – Spring, Recurrence and Surgery

The year kicked off with winter hikes and snowshoeing adventures, a celebration of her birthday, the captivating beauty of sunsets, the first thaw of winter and the colorful spring tulip blooms. By April, Kathryn faced the stark reality of her cancer’s return-a tough, albeit anticipated, hurdle. She underwent a second round of chemotherapy, radiation, and in July, a rigorous surgery of her spine. Despite the exhausting mental and physical toll, Kathryn’s resilience and zest for life shone brightly. She persevered and graduated from Northeastern University with a Master of Science in Energy System degree. By November, she was back to her sanctuary-the great outdoors-embracing life with open arms, hiking, and sharing her radiant smile with the world.

2022 – Traveling the World

The second round of chemo, radiation, and surgery gifted Kathryn an additional period of good health. As always, she was determined to make full use of this time. This year she traveled the world! In January, she visited Sid in California to spend a few months with him visiting Yosemite for her birthday, then Muir Woods, Point Reyes, Point Lobos and Carmel Valley. Kathryn also planned a very special trip to Athens & Santorini in April. Kathryn also visited Sid’s parents all the way in Singapore in July! The rest of the year was filled with various hikes, activities and adventures in California, Washington, New Hampshire and Western Massachusetts.

2023 – Tucson, Willow, and Treatment

After a week hiking with her friends, Kathryn traveled to California to spend the early part of 2023 with Sid, along with a quick trip to Tucson to celebrate her birthday! In April, she and Sid welcomed the arrival of the newest family member, their cavapoo puppy, Willow! Willow was and is a perfect bundle of joy, comfort, and happiness. Sid is grateful that Kathryn had the foresight to know that he would need Willow when she was gone. In July, Kathryn’s scans revealed that the cancer had returned to her lungs and in the soft tissue of her neck. A series of radiation treatments were followed by the start of a Tyrosine kinase inhibitor pill. Kathryn chose to prioritize her quality of life and wanted to continue doing the activities she loved as long as possible. She returned to Boston, and despite side effects and fatigue, continued to find joy in each day and being outside.

2024 – Portugal and Drama

Kathryn always wanted to visit Portugal, so she and Sid planned a vacation in the middle of January to visit Lisbon and the island of Maderia! The start of the vacation was fun, and they had a great time exploring Belem, Sintra and the misty Fanal forest!

However, a couple of days before they were scheduled to return, Kathryn began feeling unwell and short of breath. An urgent visit to the care center led to her being admitted to a hospital in Madeira, where she was diagnosed with severe double pneumonia. After a challenging fourteen-day treatment, further complications arose with the progression of the cancer to the pleura in her lungs. On February 4th, Kathryn was air-lifted back to the United States, where she was lovingly attended to at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, surrounded by her family and her beloved dog, Willow.

Kathryn passed away peacefully in her sleep on Tuesday, February 13, enveloped in love and the comforting presence of her family, Sid, and Willow. Throughout her journey, Kathryn’s resilience, grace, and indomitable spirit never wavered. She faced each challenge with a pragmatic approach and her signature sense of humor, always prioritizing the well-being of others, even in her toughest times. She is deeply missed and forever loved, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of all who knew her.

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