February 4, 1972 — January 11, 2005
Christy Lynn O’Keefe was born on February 4, 1972 in St. Petersburg , FL. She spent 32 years there learning, growing, living life to the fullest and always giving to others. She was an amazing person who was full of grace, beauty, intelligence, wit, strength and courage. She had a gorgeous smile that could warm your heart on even the dreariest of days and a sense of humor that kept you laughing even through the tough times.
Christy spent her life challenging herself and those she knew to be honest, caring, and compassionate. She carried these standards into her professional life as an elementary school teacher where she impacted both students and co-workers alike. The lives that she touched and the positive difference she had in this world are immeasurable. You couldn’t avoid being a better person for having known her.
In April of 2002, at the age of 30, Christy learned that a mole on her upper back was cancerous. Further testing disclosed that it was Melanoma and had spread to a couple nearby lymph nodes under her arm. The mole and nodes were removed and Christy bravely underwent 7 months of intense Interferon treatment. The originally scheduled 9 months of treatment were stopped early due to complications it was causing in her eyes.
After the Interferon treatments were done, life went back to a relative norm. Christy and her husband traveled and enjoyed life with their family and friends. Two years after her initial diagnosis, Christy went in for a routine follow-up exam seeking approval to start a family. Unfortunately, it was at this time she learned her Melanoma was back and had spread to her lungs. Christy went through several treatment options including Interlukin, chemo, radiation and clinical trials, but the Melanoma continued to spread to multiple organs despite these efforts. Ten months later, on January 11, 2005 , a few weeks before her 33rd birthday, Christy lost her valiant and courageous battle.
Christy is no longer with us in person, but she and her love will forever be in our hearts. Everything she was, stood for and taught us remains with us and always will. She has left behind the legacy of many family and friends who are more compassionate, focused, understanding and stronger than they were before Christy came into their lives. Our lives are not the same without our beautiful Christy, but ironically, it is Christy who is helping us get through life without her.
Her family and friends are committed to spreading awareness and supporting Melanoma research in her honor. It is our honor to do so in return for all she did and gave to us.
We miss you Christy and thank you for all of the joy and inspiration you gave us during your life.
Your Grateful Family and Friends