|About Kim Patterson Murphy|
Kim Patterson was a native of Sarasota, Florida. Her father, John is any attorney and her mother Nora is a county commissioner. The family lived on Siesta Key, and Kim shared their love of the water and the outdoors. She was an accomplished skier, both snow and water, and diver. She graduated from Riverview High School in 1989, and was chosen by her classmates as "best all around."
Kim was interested in art, but wanted the experience of a university. She enrolled in Syracuse University, majoring in art and design, and became a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority. She met her husband to be, Brian Murphy, an architecture major, while at Syracuse. Following graduation in 1993, she moved to Washington, D.C., and worked as an artist and then as a designer and vice president of a firm specializing in fabric and material designs.
She was offered a position in a large design firm in New York City in 1996 and produced designs for Martha Stewart and other companies. Some of Kim's designs are at the top of the pages of this website. Always an active person, Kim enjoyed membership in the 92nd Street Y, near her apartment, and took up boxing. Brian moved to New York following graduation as well, and he and Kim became inseparable.
Kim experienced fatigue and flu-like symptoms for most of the spring of 1999. On May 1, during the Revlon Run/Walk for Breast Cancer in New York, a good friend commented on large bruises on Kim's arm that she could not explain. The friend was a nurse and insisted that Kim have a blood test.
Kim was visiting her parents in Sarasota, Florida, when the call came from her doctor in New York. Following additional tests at Sarasota Memorial, she was diagnosed with Acute Mylogenous Leukemia and immediately began induction chemotherapy in Sarasota on May 13, 1999.
Kim achieved a brief remission before the leukemia returned. During this period, Kim and Brian became engaged. Kim, Brian and her parents traveled to The M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, to discuss her options. They learned that the leukemia was returning rapidly. Kim and her family decided to go forward with a bone marrow transplant with her father as the bone marrow donor.
Kim's bone marrow transplant took place on October 28, 1999. Kim spent 22 days in what became known as "The Bubble," before being released to a specialized wing of the hospital for another month.
Just before the transplant, three of her good friends in New York City planned an event to raise money for Kim and her fiancé to take a vacation following treatment. When Kim learned of their plans, she requested that any money raised be donated to M. D. Anderson for leukemia research.
By the end of that day, word was sent back to New York and the Kimberly Patterson Leukemia Research Fund was born. The few hundred dollars collected for a vacation quickly became a few thousand dollars raised in support of leukemia research.
In the first two months, over ten thousand dollars was raised on Kim's behalf. The fund continued to grow as Kim struggled to recover from the effects of the bone marrow transplant. Kim and Brian were married during this period at the chapel at M. D. Anderson. Kim died of complications on November 19, 2000.
Kim's parents and her husband established endowments at M. D. Anderson following her death. On Kim's request, disbursements are divided between leukemia research and financial assistance for patients and families who cannot afford the high cost of housing and other expenses while undergoing treatment.
Kim's battle with leukemia was devastating to those who knew and loved her, but her dream of helping others and ending this terrible disease lives on.