July RIS Named Fund Honorees

Celebrate RIS’s Named Fund Honorees. You will also see their stories throughout July in Rein in Sarcoma’s social media and highlighted on the Named Funds page of our website. RIS Named Funds help sustain and support Rein in Sarcoma’s mission and help “Increase awareness. Increase survivors.” If you’d like to make a donation to the Rein in Sarcoma mission, visit our website

Sara A. Christensen

Sara was always a helper at heart and was a special needs teacher at Minneapolis North High School. At the end of the 2018 school year, Sara was feeling tired, run down and exhausted. She went to see a doctor, thinking she was just a tired teacher, but this was not the case – she received a diagnosis of angiosarcoma.

Sara began volunteering for Rein in Sarcoma in 2019 with drive and purpose.  With her family close and holding Alan’s hand she peacefully left our world on July 24, 2019.

Story/donate: https://www.reininsarcoma.org/sarcoma-story-sara-christensen/

Richard Berqual

Richard found a small, pea-sized lump on his arm that was diagnosed as a blood clot. Eventually, the lump increased in size and he had surgery to remove it. The tissue was tested, and he was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma and the cancer had spread. On July 10, 2011, Richard passed away at home surrounded by those he loved. 

Story/donate: https://www.reininsarcoma.org/sarcoma-story-richard-berqual/

Kevin O’Keefe

Kevin was uncertain as to when his cancer appeared as he experienced cramping in his thigh for many years. Finally in 2002, a biopsy confirmed a diagnosis of synovial sarcoma. Following his initial treatment, he had a long remission, but the cancer returned – a small tumor appeared on his right lung. Kevin passed away on January 22, 2019. 

Story/donate: https://www.reininsarcoma.org/sarcoma-story-kevin-okeefe/

John Shirk

John Shirk

John’s diagnosis of synovial sarcoma came in June 2009 after two years of missed diagnoses. John had surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy, but none of it helped. In July 2015, with family surrounding him, John died. 

Story/donate: https://www.reininsarcoma.org/sarcoma-story-john-shirk/