In February 2000, Barbara Kaprielian was diagnosed with malignant breast cancer. For 14 years, Barb courageously battled this life-threatening disease while never allowing it to define her. In her fight against cancer, she exhibited the physical and emotional strength of a warrior, always wearing a smile on her face or waiving her infamous cowbell at local sporting events. Although there were periods of great challenge and uncertainty, she always carried herself with grace and dignity. She was a beacon of hope for her family, friends, and community. Even during the darkest days, Barb’s great courage and strength were her most valuable weapons, always assuring her family and loved ones not to worry, that she would be fine. Nothing could break her spirit.
Barb fought longer and harder than most of her medical practitioners thought possible. Her oncologist said she lived three years longer than anyone he had seen with such an aggressive form of cancer. He believed that it was Barb’s goal to see her kids reach early adulthood. Barb accomplished this goal, and many others. She refused to let anyone down.
For over 5,100 days, Barb demonstrated optimism, grit, courage and joy. She celebrated the “little things” in life—summer concerts in the park, Friday night high school games, and USC football on the weekend. Then there were the trips to the river house and the annual summer vacation to Lake Topaz, where she could enjoy water skiing and quality time with family and friends. Her greatest joy and source of pride, however, were her children, Alison and James.
A more powerful word that better defines Barb’s life is impact. Her influence extended well beyond immediate family as a loving mother and wife. She impacted others in the community as an educator, mentor, philanthropist, friend, and “second Mom” to her children’s friends. Barb’s selflessness, coupled with her enthusiasm for life, enabled her to live with passion and purpose. While she mentored fellow cancer sisters, volunteered at Families Forward, participated in her Bible study group, coordinated events at Beckman High School, and invested in her students at Arroyo Elementary, Barb lived to help and support others… and her impact will live on for many years to come.
Like Barb, many individuals around the world also face the challenges of cancer. In the spirit of Barb’s altruism, we come together to support others who are fighting this battle.
The Barb Kaprielian Memorial Fund is a collaboration with Rivals United for a Kure, an initiative to raise money for underfunded cancer research. USC’s and UCLA’s highly regarded medical schools have teamed up to allocate funds to the most innovative and promising research projects in the medical field. Despite the lengthy history of this crosstown rivalry, the best and the brightest doctors are coming together to make breakthroughs in cancer research under a common vision – to find a cure. Your donations to The Barb Kaprielian Memorial Fund will be used for projects selected by the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.
As a family of both Trojans and Bruins with a wife and mother who understood the meaning of “Fight On,” this cause is close to our hearts. Our “house divided” is working toward a cure… Will you join us as Rivals United?
Thank you for your support as we continue to honor Barbara Kaprielian’s life in the most impactful way we can. Help us win the battle Barb endured for 14 long years by finding a cure for cancer.
To learn more about Rivals United for a Kure, click HERE.