I have had the distinct pleasure of being a part of the Kraft family
while working as Gail's pediatric office manager, in her home since
In December 1994 William had just completed the first semester of his
junior year at the University of Pennsylvania. He packed up all his
belongings and came home to his family for the holidays as he prepared
for his second semester abroad in Paris. He was handsome and brilliant
with a wonderful sense of humor, always perfectly healthy and completely
excited for this new adventure.
In 1994 Steven was ten, Elizabeth was in middle school, Karen in high
school, and Jon was nearby at Brandeis. They were all happy to have
their big bothers home and together for the winter holidays.
As William began complaining of some mild neurological symptoms, his
mother arranged for a visit with a neurologist while he was home.
The subsequent MRI revealed an anaplastic astrocytoma, grade three. The
shock of this news hit the family hard as everyone understood this was a
very serious diagnosis.
Instead of going to Paris as planned, Will had brain surgery, radiation and
chemotherapy treatments. He spent the semester recovering at home.
Determined to keep up with his class at Penn, William took summer courses at
Brandeis and resumed attendance at Penn for his senior year, where he
graduated with his class, University of Pennsylvania class of 1996.
Every six months Will had to be rescanned, as this type of tumor had a high likelihood of recurrence.
For six years he was well and fully functional, working in high-tech and
living in the Fenway neighborhood, attending as many Red Sox games as he
could, and enjoying his friends and family. William had a great attitude
and always maintained his wonderful sense of humor despite the constant
fear of waiting for the other shoe to drop. He worked hard, passed his
GMATs and was in the process of applying to grad schools.
In the fall of 2001 his MRI showed the tumor was back and this time it was
a glioblastoma multiforme, the worst possible news. :( He proceeded to
have another brain surgery and more chemo.
It was at this time that William volunteered his daily efforts to The
Jimmy Fund. Always a huge Red Sox fan, and now understanding first-hand
the importance of the research done at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute,
William was inspired to help other children who may be diagnosed with
cancer, to have the best treatment options available in order to buy
more time with their families and have a longer quality of life.
In September 2002, Will successfully walked the entire 26 miles to raise
money for the Jimmy Fund Walk. Demonstrating his sense of humor as well
as his love for The Blues, he named his walk team "Built for Comfort,
Not for Speed".
In February 2003 William passed away at his parents’ home surrounded by his family and friends.
In September of 2003 our Jimmy Fund Walk team “In Memory of Will Kraft”
set a goal to raise enough money to create a fund in his name at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
William would be so pleased to know his team is still going strong and many
families have benefited from the world class research his fund has
provided. Thank you for your generosity!
Please contribute on-line or mail a check to :
Jimmy Fund Walk
P.O. Box 3595
Boston, MA 02241
Don't forget my walker ID# 1009817
Thanks so much! Lori
I am participating in the 2019 Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai, taking steps toward the ultimate finish line: a world without cancer!
When you make a gift to my walk, you’re directly supporting Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s unique 50-50 balance between cutting-edge science and highly compassionate cancer care. Your support allows Dana-Farber leaders to enhance programs and initiatives that serve pediatric and adult patients and their families.
Thank you for supporting my participation in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. Together, we can conquer cancer!