12/20/1975 — 12/12/2005
On Valentine’s Day 1997 at the age of 21, Kevin Matthew Rice was diagnosed with Melanoma as a result of a large brown mole in the middle of his left calf. As his fiance, it was a dark day for me, yet I had no idea of the battle he would end up fighting for the next eight years.
Kevin and I got married on July 5, 1997 and tried to go on living life to the fullest extent that we could despite the challenges of his illness. Over the course of the years, Kevin’s cancer would metastasize throughout his lungs, liver, brain, and groin area on the right and left sides.
Treatments ranged from an immunotherapy clinical trial in 1997 at Duke University, to various forms of chemotherapy including Interleukin 2, dacarbazine, and so many others that time has faded my ability to remember their names.
He had numerous surgeries, full brain radiation, radiation at various locations on his body marked by horrible little permanent tattoo dots. He carried a bag full of medicine with him just to try to keep him healthy, but he never once complained or asked, “Why me?”
On August 28, 2001, despite the feeling from his doctor that we may not be able to conceive a child due to all the medication and radiation he was enduring, I gave birth to Kevin’s son Peyton Matthew Rice. Peyton was a healthy 9 pound 5 ounce blond boy who was Kevin’s pride and joy.
After fighting a long and tiring battle, my Kevin went to be with God on December 12, 2005, at 6:20 p.m. with me holding his hand.
He will forever be my hero and in my heart. Meanwhile, every time I look at Peyton, now a nine year old lineman on his football team, I see Kevin. I know he can see him from Heaven and is looking on with pride!
We miss you, Kevin, and can’t wait to see you again!