Kirby Stone's Personal Profile
A message from Marrowforums:
Kirby Stone passed away on February 19, 2013.
Kirby was a friend to many patients and caregivers in our community, looking out for his own health but trying just as hard to help other patients. He attended as many patient conferences as he could, always looking into new treatment approaches and sharing with so many others the understanding of MDS that he gained.
Kirby was one of the first patients to join Marrowforums in 2006. By his second forum post he was already helping others, telling another MDS patient to "hang in there". That's exactly what Kirby did, with the support of his wife Nancy, for so many years. It's no surprise that his last forum post was an offer to help another patient over the phone.
Despite his unique circumstances, Kirby's advocacy and support for other patients, as well as his always-positive outlook, set a wonderful example of how to live with bone marrow failure. We will miss him.
A message from John Huber, Executive Director of the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation, February 2013:
We sadly learned of the death of one of the bravest, most congenial and gentle men I have ever met.
Kirby Stone passed away after a valiant multi-year battle with MDS. Kirby was a frequent attendee at our conferences, including our very first one-day MDS conference in Cleveland in 2009. There he met Dr. Jarek Maciejewski. Two years later when we returned to Cleveland for a Patient & Family conference, Kirby spoke so eloquently and credited Jarek with literally saving his life.
Treatment for Kirby's MDS was complicated because of his strong religious beliefs and so he was unable to accept any blood transfusions. That same strength of religious conviction sustained Kirby throughout his life and his battle with MDS. Kirby was always striving to learn as much about his disease and was most willing to share what he learned with others, serving as a Peer Support Network volunteer and speaking with countless patients whenever and wherever he could.
Many of you had the pleasure of meeting Kirby and his wife Nancy at our various events and got to know their dedication and commitment to others and the great love they shared for each other. They were registered for our Chicago conference last Fall but had to cancel because of "low counts". I spoke with him about that when he cancelled, only to learn just how low those counts were and how much he wanted to be at the conference, hoping to learn whatever was new, whether it might help him or not. If his learning could help others, that's what he would do.
When we return to Cleveland in a few months for this year's conference, we will miss his smile, his determination and his concern for others, but we will not forget Kirby's courage.
He was one of those rare, inspirational people we are privileged to meet in life.