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Krissy Keelan succumbs to cancer


Woodburn resident Krissy Keelan, whose story of survival rallied an entire community to support her during her battle with cancer, died on Friday.

Keelan’s family has been featured in the Independent numerous times in the past seven years.

In 2007, Keelan’s daughter McKayla, at the age of 2, was diagnosed with a stage IV malignant rhabdoid tumor of the kidney. The community rallied behind little McKayla in the form of benefits, and she has been cancer free since 2009.

That same year, Krissy Keelan discovered in her colon and, a year later, a cancer so rare there was no name for it at the time, was found in her liver. It spread to her spine, and Woodburn Immanuel Lutheran Church held a tamale benefit dinner last winter to send her to the Mayo Clinic for a risky surgery. Dutch Bros. Coffee even chipped in to help pay her medical bills, which her insurance wouldn’t cover.

“I want to make sure we’re exhausting all options because I?want to watch my kids grow up,”?she said in a January 2013 interview with the Independent. “God has brought our family this far and and he’s not going to stop here.”

Keelan, who will be remembered for her determination in the face of death, will be remembered at a funeral service on Thursday at Immanuel Lutheran.

She leaves behind her husband, Leo, and their two children, McKayla, 8, and Quammie, 6.