The Tracy Gare Kurzweil Memorial Fund raises funds in support of innovative research, clinical trials, and the recruitment of talented medical professionals specializing in lymphoma at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.
Tracy Kurzweil loved life. Tracy was my beautiful wife of 23 years and the amazing mother of our two children. Tracy's infectious smile, kind heart, and friendly nature made her someone that people gravitated to and she touched the lives and inspired so many people simply by going about living her day-to-day life. There was nothing Tracy enjoyed more then spending time with her family and friends and she was loved, respected, and admired by all that knew her.
In April of 2017, after returning from a family vacation, Tracy felt a lump in her abdominal area and went to the doctor to get it checked out. A few weeks later, after several tests, scans, and biopsies, Tracy was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Diffuse Large B-Cell Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Prior to this diagnosis Tracy never had any medical issues and once we learned of the diagnosis and treatment plan, Tracy bravely embraced the challenge of getting through an intense chemotherapy program spanning 3.5 months in the summer of 2017 which required her to spend five nights at Emory Hospital receiving treatment, and then returning home for 16 days before going back for another round of treatment. We were optimistic that this regiment would cure Tracy’s disease and we would be able to resume our life together following this cancer interruption.
The chemotherapy treatment seemingly worked as Tracy went into remission after four cycles of treatment, however the remission did not last long as the cancer returned in the early fall. For the next three months Tracy went through another form of chemotherapy and several rounds of radiation in order to treat the lymphoma, however the aggressiveness of the disease continued to prove tough to overcome. In late December, Tracy and I traveled to Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa in order for Tracy to receive CAR-T therapy which had recently gained approval from the FDA and had shown promising results for patients with lymphomas that were not responding well to chemotherapy. Unfortunately, Tracy’s disease continued to progress while we were in Tampa and she was never able to get strong enough to receive the therapy that we had traveled to Tampa for. Tracy passed away on January 25, 2018, two weeks after our 23 year wedding anniversary, three weeks before her 48th birthday, and only nine months after receiving the initial diagnosis.
Tracy remained strong for her family and friends throughout her 9 month battle. Tracy maintained a positive attitude throughout her treatments, always believing that she would be cured and return to the life that she loved so much. She was always very sweet and appreciative to all that cared for her at Winship, Emory, and Moffitt and served as an inspiration to the doctors, nurses, and medical staff that she encountered during this journey.
Tracy's passing has left a tremendous void not only for our immediate family but to the many friends and acquaintances that Tracy had in our extended community. There will never be another Tracy and while we are heartbroken that Tracy was taken from us at such a young age, we are hopeful that the fund established in her memory will help to raise money for innovative research, clinical trials, and recruitment of talented medical professionals specializing in lymphoma at Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University so that patients with conditions similar to Tracy can be cured and go on to lead long and healthy lives. Please join me in honoring Tracy's memory by contributing to the Tracy Gare Kurzweil Memorial Fund and improving the outcomes for patients with aggressive forms of lymphoma.