‘Kare Like Karrah’ benefit to support young mom battling cancer

The East Family. Blayne, 13, mom Karrah (right) and Calli East (upper left). Courtesy: Calli East

BATON ROUGE – Karrah East is the type of person everyone needs in their life. She is funny, kind, caring and selfless. More importantly, she is fiercely protective and will do anything to protect her loved ones.

The 36-year-old wife and mother loves attending her son’s baseball games, Disney and animals. Karrah, who is a former veterinary tech, loves animals so much she carries cat food in the car in case she comes across a stray.

Karrah and her wife Calli East, have been married for nine years and their son Blayne is 13.

“LSU football games are one of our favorite family events,” Calli said. “We have season tickets and it’s something we look forward to every year.”

Everything seemed to be going well for the Easts, until six years ago when Karrah received news she wasn’t expecting – she had cervical cancer. 

“She had an abnormal pap smear, she went to [her] routine check up, which unfortunately wasn’t as often as it should have been, which a lot of women make that mistake as well,” Calli told UWK.

Once doctors conducted biopsies, they discovered the cancer was more advanced.

“It came back as squamous cell carcinoma… the type of cancer that she had was cervical cancer in her cervix,” Calli said. “But it was also in an adjacent lymph node in her pelvis … so she had Stage 3b cervical cancer.”

“The best hug ever” is how Karrah captioned this photo on her Facebook page after she surprised Blayne for his baseball game in Pigeon Forge, TN. Courtesy: Calli East

Karrah underwent radiation and chemotherapy and seven months later, she was cancer free. Calli says Karrah is a fighter and was determined to travel to Blayne’s game in Tennessee.

“Karrah doubled up her radiation for the week to be able to fly to Pigeon Forge to surprise Blayne at his game at the travel baseball World Series tournament,” Calli shared. “This photo was taken the moment he saw her.”

The American Cancer Society estimates about 13,820 women will be diagnosed each year with cervical cancer. It is most often diagnosed in women between the ages of 35 and 44 with the average age of 50. It rarely develops in women under 20. 

Cervical cancer can often be detected early, and sometimes prevented, through regular screenings. If detected early, cervical cancer is one of the most successfully treatable cancers.

In May 2023, almost five years to the day when she was declared cancer free, Karrah was devastated to learn the cancer was back and it had spread to multiple places in her body.

Karrah is undergoing treatment at M.D. Anderson in Houston, Texas. Calli says the pain has become debilitating and Karrah is easily fatigued. She is still hopeful she can beat it with chemo and holistic therapies and treatments. Karrah’s determination and sense of humor keeps everyone going.

Kare Like Karrah” is the slogan her family and friends came up with as a tribute her. They hope it will inspire others to be the type of humans they believe everyone should strive to be caring and kind to all of those around us, because we never know what someone is going through.

For the next few months, friends and family are planning several fundraisers to help the East family pay for holistic and non-conventional treatments not covered by medical insurance. 

A plate lunch fundraiser will be held in two locations this Saturday, January 27, 2024, starting at 11 a.m. until all lunches are sold out.

Plate lunch menu: Pastalaya or jambalaya, white beans and bread for $10 per plate. 

Plate lunch pre-orders are preferred. Free delivery is available for orders of 10 or more. To place a pre-order, please contact Janet at (225) 413-4414.

Donations can also be made via Venmo: karelikekarrah; 100% of all donations will go directly to the East family to continue Karrah’s treatment and help cover expenses.

For those unable to donate, the family appreciates prayers and good vibes as Karrah continues to heal. 

Download the Unfiltered with Kiran app from the Apple App Store and Google Play to stay updated on the latest news across the Capital area.

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