Sometimes, when life gets me down, I think if I wear a smile, a genuine one, I will persevere.

Katie, you are beautiful.

Triumph of the Spirit




Katie Kirkpatrick’s story is a powerful reminder that we can still find joy in the midst of suffering tragedy by focusing on and celebrating the present moment. The photos and text come from an e-mail I received and from snopes.com which verified Katie’s story.





On Valentine’s Day, 2002, Katie Kirkpatrick, then a freshman at Rochester College (a small Christian college in Rochester Hills, Michigan), was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Undaunted, Katie strove to keep up with her studies, but she suffered another setback in 2003 when she was diagnosed with an inoperable lung tumor wrapped around her pulmonary artery. Nonetheless, in 2004 the resilient Katie took part in champion cyclist Lance Armstrong’s Ride for the Roses cancer fundraiser.

On January 15, 2005, twenty-one-year-old Katie—the girl “with a contagious smile and unrelenting optimism” who had been battling cancer for three years—married twenty-three-year-old Lapeer County sheriff’s deputy Nick Goodwin, her…

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