Kristen lived by the quote “if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough”.
At the age of 21, Kristen’s life changed forever as she was diagnosed with advanced Ovarian Cancer. Kristen showed incredible courage and determination and always held hope. She continued to dream big and wanted to make a difference for her fellow Teal Sisters.
Over 6 years, despite being in continuous treatment, Kristen was a champion for raising awareness of the disease and funds for research. She shared her story with charities across Australia, UK, Canada & USA and volunteered her time as the guest speaker at numerous engagements. As the face of many campaigns and fundraisers, Kristen appeared across TV, print, radio and online media, and her story has collectively raised millions of dollars. The impact Kristen had in elevating the Teal profile and raising awareness worldwide, is immeasurable.
Kristen also campaigned politically, addressing Australia's leaders and successfully secured millions of federal dollars for government investment into research. Kristen was integral in bringing the US program, Survivors Teaching Students (STS) to Australia and became the Brisbane Regional Coordinator. Kristen was chosen to be the face of the first Bonds "Overies for Ovaries" campaign and her image was splashed across billboards nationally.
Kristen's extensive volunteer efforts were recognised as a Young Australian of the Year 2019 finalist for Queensland. Kristen's final advocacy project was the Ovarshare Podcast, which she created as a platform to share the stories of young women affected by Ovarian Cancer.
Kristen Freya Larsen passed away on the 9th of December at age 27.
Kristen believed that death was not a reflection of losing a battle or a fight. In fact, she despised that terminology. Cancer did not beat Kristen, she beat cancer by living an incredible life.
Her smile so genuine, and her laugh always full of joy. Kristen’s story will live on, will continue to impact, and inspire us.
Kristen knew first hand that research is the only hope that women like her have for a future. Not long before she passed, Kristen created a fundraising page with the aim of raising $1 million dollars towards research funding- this will live on in her honour and is called Kristen's Living Legacy. Please consider donating or holding a fundraiser in benefit of her Legacy:
KRISTEN'S BLOG ENTRIES
Hello, my name is Kristen Larsen, and I'm in the battle of my life against Ovarian Cancer.
At the age of 21, I was living my dream of a working holiday in London. I had been living a busy and active lifestyle and thought I was invincible. I was having the best time, that is, until my world came crashing down around me…Advanced…Ovarian…Cancer.
I’d woken up one morning with severe abdominal pain, it was so crippling that I actually went straight to my GP. After testing me for pregnancy, my Doctor sent me off to the Royal London Hospital with suspected appendicitis. There, they discovered that I had Stage 3C Ovarian Cancer. Unsuspectingly, it had spread throughout my abdomen, around my large bowel, by my liver and even up to my diaphragm. I immediately went into fight mode. This meant enduring rounds of chemotherapy and an 11 hour surgery.
Now 6 years later, I’ve had 7 surgeries, 4 different regimens of chemotherapy, 2 courses of radiation, 5 types of hormone therapy, 3 clinical studies and 3 clinical trials, but I still have Ovarian Cancer!
These are short stories from this journey.