SF State Student Loses Battle with Cancer
February 16, 2005 12:39 PM
Anna Maria Kakis, a SF State student, passed away Monday, Feb. 14 after battling a rare type of cancer for over a year.
“You couldn’t not like her," said Nick Kakis, her older brother. "She wanted to please everybody. She just made you smile.”
For the past year and a half, Kakis had been fighting a recurrence of a cancer caused by a germ cell tumor that originated in the small of her back, said her older brother Nick Kakis. The cancer was first diagnosed when she was three years old.
“She fought that for almost half a year and beat it,” he said. “Then 15 years later it reoccurred.”
Nick Kakis said the doctors knew of only one other similar case, which occurred in Germany.
Kakis graduated from Burlingame High School in 2003, a small school that is “like a community,” according to her former English teacher Elaine Caret. Caret remembers Kakis as “a leader, full of passion and energy.”
One definite passion of Kakis' was soccer, and according to varsity coach Phillip De Rosa she was an "aggressive, tough player and a deciding factor for victory" in several games.
A teammate and long time family friend, De Rosa's daughter came from UCLA upon hearing the news. Other former teammates and classmates have returned from many of California's campuses and even from as far as Florida.
After high school, Kakis registered at SF State. She had plans to pursue a job in a medical profession and was working as a student clerk in the fitness center of Mills-Peninsula Health Services.
“From this experience she wanted to go into the medical field,” said her father Anthony Kakis. “She thought she had something to give.”
She enrolled full-time at SF State in 2003 and continued her studies online while finishing her last rounds of chemotherapy in February 2004. She signed up for two more classes for the summer term, eager to continue at the school where her father said she “loved the people and loved SF State.”
When her symptoms reappeared in July she was forced to drop her fall semester classes.
Kakis visited the hospital biweekly for treatments, until the doctors finally told the family there was nothing else they could do for her and to make her comfortable, according to Nick Kakis.
“The whole time she didn’t want anyone else to suffer,” he said. “She put on a happy face for us. She wanted everyone to remember her like that, happier times in her life.”
Kakis’ boyfriend, SF State BECA major Anthony Catchatoorian, supported her during her final year. Their families made T-shirts with her picture on them and got neighbors to join them in the Burlingame Cancer Walk 2004. When home from touring with his band, Catchatoorian would often serve as caretaker for her and impressed both families with his love and loyalty.
That positive energy endeared Kakis to an assortment of people from her nurse at UCSF to her high school guidance counselor, all of whom turned out for the viewing.
POST A COMMENT
|BACK TO TOP|| |
Copyright © 2008 [X]press | Journalism Department - San Francisco State University