Read personal stories from our founder and Jennifer's mommy, Libby, along with other Warrior Moms and news from our Unravel team.

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September 13, 2014

Another 12th.. still not getting any easier. Today was filled with chores. ..

Chores like breathing, which today I found so difficult to do. I felt like I was living in jello.. every movement slow deliberate and so very hard to execute.

I woke up angry this morning. Not wanting to hear any more “I’m sorry’s” So my post on my personal page was similar to my parenting with my kids. Don’t tell me with your words, show me with your actions. In this case, don’t tell me you are sorry SHOW me… show me you are sorry by doing something about it

I woke up broken.. just completely depleted of any drive or desire to do anything. But the baby was crying so laying in bed all day wasn’t a option. ..At the same time I also felt this immense gratitude for these little lives I am still being entrusted with..

.. .and then I realized that needed to be my challenge for myself today too. Not to just tell them that .. but to SHOW them.. even on a day like today that felt almost impossible to stay upright, let alone demonstrate my unending love for them. I emailed Michelle and Renee the 2 people that really run Unravel and said simply “I’m out. For a few days I am out and you are in 100%. She’s all yours.” Because I knew that if I was going to be able to complete my challenge .. well then they would have to be the only 3 babies I was caring about right now.

We ate breakfast together. Gluten free banana bread. The last thing I baked with her. Both boys happily helped me make it on the 11th.

jonathan and nicholas

jonathan and nicholas.

We light her watermelon candle and talked about why that particular candle.. about how she told me she thinks it smells like watermelon all the time in heaven. So that if sissy is right we can smell what she is smelling. And we decided to go to a museum that we have never been to.

A way for me to do something for them because of her. My forever 12th promise. 

It was good. They were good. I felt like I had a lead weight tied around me neck. That I was dragging and pulling.. when all I wanted to do was lay down and let the weight crush me.

I called the funeral parlor. Cemented the date we will bury our 6 year old. Forever 6.

I don’t think I have the strength

I don’t think I can really put her in the ground.

I don’t want to ..

I don’t want this to be real..

please. please. somebody make it not real.

When it was time to go Jonathan asked to go to the beach. I was tired.. done with the day. All I wanted to do was go home and put a movie on for them. But I found a beach nearby..I turned that no into a yes.. because I said I would. Because I promised myself that right after she died.. No into yes.. and see where it takes us.



Today it took us to a windy and sunny state beach.. Today it took us to huge smiles and 3 kids running and digging and playing together.

Thankful for that for them. Because my grief was slowly consuming me throughout the day. Growing in intensity and power.. Until now.. when its so strong its insatiable.. when it feels like its eating me alive.

I wished aloud to them that I had done this more with her. Impromptu visits to the beach. I wished I hadn’t taken her future for granted. I wish I had been a better mom. So I kissed Jonathan and thanked him for the idea. And I buried his feet in the sand.. to be sure I showed him instead of just telling him.

the last time we did a unplanned beach day. 5 months before she was diagnosed. 8 months before she died

one of the only times we did a unplanned beach day. 5 months before she was diagnosed. 8 months before she died

Driving home all 3 of my living slept. I was grateful for a respite from their eyes. It took us much longer to get home than it should have.. and then I had to pee. And it got worse. But I didn’t want to wake them all up to go to a restroom with me. I figured I would be ok. .. then we hit more traffic. I had to go the bathroom worse than I ever have in my life. I was incredibly uncomfortable..

and I thought of her.. and I talked to her.  About when she was slowly dying.. losing all control over her body. Really all I could say to her was I’m sorry .. over and over again..13301569413_e607fcbb97_o

When she was unable to pee. But always felt like she had to. When I saw how swollen she was in her little tummy. She was so skinny.. I could see every piece of her hip bone.. but then this hard rounded place where her tummy once was .. We tried to give her a catheter .. it was horrible.

Holding her so tightly. Hearing her scream when we hadn’t heard a sound from her mouth for days. So we stopped and I took a warm bath with her. It didn’t work. How exhausted she was. .  I had no idea then how awful the pain must have been. She didn’t complain though. She just woke suddenly all through the night with the immediate urge to pee without the ability to go. We tried again the next day. .. Again more of the same.  But she didn’t quit. She lived for 10 more days.  I am glad that I got to feel fraction of what she did. To have the slightest glimpse into one of the ways she suffered.

13301790144_7601fc1835_oI want to die like she did. I want at some point to feel and experience everything her little body had to go through. What a wonderful gift incontinence was then. . How happy I was when her bed was soaked.. how grateful she must have been..

oh baby girl

i’m sorry i didn’t protect you

i am sorry you suffered.

oh jennifer.

i didn’t know what the right thing was

i’m so sorry honey.

Another month passing since I held her last..

Is that ok with you? Do you miss it as much as I do?

She is only 6.. does she still need her mommy? A 6 yr old little girl should feel her mommies touch. . I always grieve for the last time I touched her..

Does she grieve it too?


…until there is a cure..

  1. jess says:

    I don’t have any words, really…my heart continues to break for you and your sweet family. It sounds like you made a beautiful day for your younger three. I admire the strength you show for them.
    Always remembering your Jennifer.

  2. Emily says:

    7 months gone, 7 months closer to seeing her again. I’m sure she misses you, but I also hold to the truth that years here are but a blink there, and that there are no negative feelings there. So I am sure Jennifer misses you, but not in the aching way you miss her. I am sure she is running and playing and making so many friends.

    Until the day you are reunited, my family and I will continue to show with our actions.

    Thank you for continuing to share Jennifer and the rest of your family with us. Here for the long-haul.

  3. yvette says:

    Yes Jennifer feels it to but in a different way, she is now always with you in spirit and in your heart, you never stop caring and loving and feeling the pain and emptiness of losing a loved one especially one who was as connected to you Like Jennifer was, I feel if your not ready to lay Jennifer to rest then it’s not time, you need to be ready to. My brother passed and my dad still to this day has not let go of his ashes, Libby until your ready don’t let her go.. forever 6, love4JLK, Jennifer Lynn Kranz forever in my heart and everyday thought you will never be forgotten. Love for you all .

  4. Linda says:

    Still here. Still reading and doing. All my love to you and you family. Sweet beautiful Jennifer will always be remembered. LOVE4JLK♡ FOREVER 6.

  5. Karen Zoucha says:

    Love, hugs, and prayers to you.

  6. You would think it would get easier but it doesn’t. You lost a child and its going to take a while before it gets a little easier. My mother died when I was 13 and I am now 61 and every February 19 the day she died I relive that day and all that happened. Libby going through a death of a child is not an easy thing to do. I give you alot of credit and praise for trying to push forward everyday for your 3 other children. Jennifer will always be a part of your life and theirs and someday it will get easier but you have the right to grieve for as long as it takes. If you are not at a point where you want to bury her ashes wait till your ready. Don’t put more sadness into your life. This is something you have control of. Do it when you are ready and when you know its time. Praying always for your family for comfort and strength.

  7. Tami says:

    I wish you some peace Libby.

  8. Amanda Santos says:

    Peace, love, and prayers for you.

  9. Debbie says:

    Showing by action, a resolve to unravel pediatric cancer, to stop children like precious Jennifer from death far too soon. You are right sorry doesn’t cut it, doesn’t even come close. I so wish you and other parents like you, like my Grandmother who lost her 5 year old son Glenn my Uncle to Leukemia didn’t feel these losses, only to go on and lose my father he only remaining child at 29 to a heart attack, 5 months before I was born. I didn’t get to meet my Daddy, but am told I look just like him. How she drew the strength to carry on and continue to love his children, I don’t know, but she did. Through you, I see how hard that must of been for her. Before? I was clueless.

    Does it ever stop hurting? I doubt it, I had a miscarriage and to this day I wonder boy or girl? What would he or she have been like? What would he or she of looked like? No, I didn’t know this little life like you knew Jennifer, but it hurt none the less and it still does. He or she would of been my 4th child, my 5th child was born a year later. Yet, I still wonder…it would have been worse to have known my child before losing it, but those hopes and dreams were still there. That place in my heart remains vacant for who should of been and was lost. I don’t know why I am sharing this now, I just started writing and this is what came out. I do vow to keep remembering Jennifer and doing all I can to raise awareness of the need of funding specifically for pediatric cancer research. Prayers for you and your family with love!

  10. Lyndee says:

    Sending lots of Love today and always. Hugs to all 6.



  11. renee hagberg staples says:

    No words…however I am walking in the st judes walk in Atlanta in November. Proceeds go to pediatric cancer research. Not sure your take on that, but I figure its a start to doing, not just talking.

  12. Kristen Tredrea says:

    Libby, your strength, your resolve, your love, AMAZING. I don’t know you, but you and Jennifer have inspired me to join this fight for the long haul. I have severe-ish cerebral palsy (physically I am pretty severely affected, a fact I have to confess I hate admitting, but intellectually and emotionally I am not affected at all) Currently I use a wheelchair for all my mobility. What this means is that I can’t physically participate in as many fundraisers as I want to, but I can contribute by making donations, and I will continue to do this as often as possible. I want to help you beat this and I truly believe you can. I know it’s a title you never wanted, but you are truly inspirational.

    • Unravel Pediatric Cancer says:

      And you participate by learning the facts and sharing them!! Thats huge. Do you have any suggestions for someway to help get people with limited mobility involved? Like if you could team up and do a bake sale or something like that? I would love your help in coming up with and sharing ideas that are accessible to everybody!!!

  13. Lisa Jack says:

    My heart breaks over & over for your family. No family should go through this.
    I’m in nursing school right now….so time is not in excess. After I graduate, I will be putting my thoughts into actions. For now, I share FB statuses and talk to people about pediatric cancer and how unfair it all is.
    love & prayers

  14. Elizabeth Tasto Perkins says:

    Oh, Libby. Oh, Jennifer. Thank you. Thank you for sharing her best and hardest moments with us as well as your own. Thank you for reminding us of the true essence of humanity and love. I wish with all my heart you could touch your Jennifer’s hair and hear her voice. I know you and Tony are fabulous parents to all four of your kids, even in these horrendous depths of grief. Much love.

  15. Bridget says:

    This Friday I talk to a group of medical students about what it was like to lose my mother to cancer to try and help further inform the way they treat their future patients and the families. I have these actions I must do to fight cancer, to take a stand against this disease that steals the people we love. But you, Jennifer, your words inspire this other level of action. I am challenged every day to be more present with my child. To contantly check in with the fact that she is healthy and here with me and not take that for granted. To hold her more and feel her weight. To not put off until tomorrow. Thank you and know that I never stop thinking of you and Jennifer and act on your inspiration every day as a mother.

  16. Elizabeth Tasto Perkins says:

    Libby, I don’t know if you follow Mary Tyler Mom on FB, but she’s a blogger in Chicago and every September she does the September Childhood Cancer Series in honor of her daughter, Donna, who was also killed by a brain tumor (at the age of 4). You can find her blog here: and last I heard she still needs submissions. You can get JLK’s story out even more. Her email is

  17. Lorraine says:

    As we continue to pray for the strength for you to live on and love your 3 alive, we hold all 6 of you our thoughts as we continue to “Flutter for Jennifer” in Fremont.
    ….until there is a cure…

  18. Kristen Tredrea says:

    Libby if you really would like me to see if I could come up with some ideas for accessible fundraisers, I certainly could. I’m in Australia so there might be some geographical challenges, but then the internet could potentially close that gap. Your girl has truly left a glittery imprint on my heart, and i would be happy to help in any way possible. Xx

  19. EMailman says:

    Nothing to say but that endless interior howl of grief.

  20. Kristen says:

    Oh Libby, you are a wonderful mother, you did amazing things for Jennifer. This is not your fault. Please believe! xoxoxoxoxoxo

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