MEDFIELD, Mass. - A Medfield woman is channeling grief into positive action for others after her husband died of a rare form of cancer at just 31 years old.
Jon Simonini got Kristin’s attention instantly, and the co-workers fell head over heels.
“He was kind of hard to miss. He's was that bit of sunshine walking into a room...got everybody's attention,” said Kristin Simonini.
In the regular routine of love, they moved in together, but shortly after Jon started having some health issues.
During a doctor’s visit, they found a tumor in his abdomen. It was during post-op, still in the hospital, that Jon proposed.
"He had an NG tube (nasogastric tube), and a hospital gown and he was very frail, and he got down, and there as a man in the bed next to us...so we weren't even in the room alone,” said Kristin.
The next day, tests on the tumor delivered the news that changed their lives. Jon had a rare form of cancer called fibrosarcoma.
“I think they say about 10,000 cases a year in the U.S. of that type of disease,” said Kristin.
Fibrosarcoma is type of cancer that affects soft tissue that begins in the fibrous tissue, which holds bones, muscles and other organs in place.
The Simoninis lived their life, getting married and having a son. All the while, Jon powered through the tumors, trials and treatments. In the end, the cancer was too much for his body. He died in 2012, their son just shy of age 2.
“They didn’t expect that it was going to take his life so soon,” said Kristin.
Jon's life could not be saved, but Kristin is working to spare another family her loss, one pedal stroke at a time.
Cycle for Survivor is national event in Boston and 17 cities across the country, where survivors and those suffering loss shine a light on rare cancers that don’t get the funding or attention that others do. One hundred percent of money teams raise goes to research, with sponsors including Equinox and New Balance.
For Kristin, it is the emotion and support in the room in carries her through each ride.
“It’s sort of my cancer family - you're in a room of like people who understand…it didn’t help our family but it’s going to help another family,” she said.
Kristin has had a team for five years and has raised more than $135,000. FOX25's Kerry Kavanaugh and Jessica Reyes are cycling Friday night.
For more information about the ride and how to donate visit this website: https://www.cycleforsurvival.org/
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