Tribute by Mary Field, mother

There have been such a large number of people who had a positive impact on Karrli's life, and I would like to take this time to thank many of them for their particular affect not only on Karrli, but also on myself and our entire family.

Debby McGrath, who is a CF social worker at CHOP, but ended up being like a member of our family. She was Karrli's best friend: a sister, an aunt, and a mom all rolled into one. Karrli even said that Debby was "her Jen," referencing my best friend who is like a sister to me.

Doctor Dave Barrett, who only met Karrli at the beginning of her most recent stay at CHOP and shared a special bond of "Geekdom" with Karrli that was important to her because that was a side of herself that she had few people to bond with over.

Doctor Aaron Dorfman, Karrli's primary doctor for the last three weeks. He took patient relations to a new level, stopping in and phoning frequently to check in with Karrli or to just simply say hello and show his support. He was so caring not only to Karrli but to the family as well.

Doctor Keri Cohen, the doctor who was with us at the toughest time. Her warmth, calmness, and honesty at the most critical time helped us as a family survive those hours, and for that we are so grateful to her.

Doctor "Lisa," who gave great hugs, had a great smile, and was the perfect listener.

"Danny Boy," a.k.a. Dr. Daniel Weiner, was always ready with a great joke, a great card trick, and of course a great bowtie. "Danny Boy" was the special nickname that Karrli requested to call him and that he, being so fond of her, permitted her to use much to her delight.

"Ronnie," a.k.a. Dr. Rubenstein, was incredibly helpful and understanding about our decisions at critical times.

Mike Donahue, a nurse practitioner who knew Karrli for many years and helped to keep her strong with his compassionate analogies and his humor.

Barb Heinreich, another nurse practitioner that knew Karrli and her personality for the longest, probably since she was about 5 or 6. Barb was able to relate to my situation through her personal experiences and helped me to get through the whole thing.

"Tom," a.k.a. Doctor Scanlin, has been Karrli's primary doctor for 17 years. He was directly honest with Karrli during her most crucial time but still kept hope in his heart for her. I am particularly grateful to him for the personal care he showed towards not only Karrli but towards Lyndsay as well. As stoic of a man as Doctor Scanlin is, it was obvious that Karrli was very special to him and he is special to us too.

Dr. Perez is great! She wins the prize for best personality and our whole family loved the way she handled every situation.

So many nurses have cared for Karrli through the years, and I would just like to thank a few:
Jean-Ann, the head nurse, guided us and helped me the entire time.
Xenia, who I appreciate that she called me Mary, who I think of as a friend.
I'd love to talk about everyone, but there are so many nurses: Ashley, Frannie, Sarah, Alex, Caroline, Tracey, MaryBeth, Angie, Marty, Natalie, Hannah, and Katie, a nurse Karrli loved who is no longer at CHOP.

As with nurses, there was a whole crew of respiratory people that were important:
Erika extended over and above her job responsibilities and helped Karrli with anything she needed.
Matt, who was Karrli's buddy who clearly cared for her a great deal and would visit whenever he could.
Joey-Lynn and many others, including some of the night staff, who stayed with her during her treatments, and supervisors who came down at a moment's notice.
Tracey, the physical therapist, who was always so cheerful and encouraging.
Mike, who talked to Karrli at great length about lung transplants and the preparation it entails.

Two people that stood out in the non-patient care department were the woman who always delivered Karrli's meals and snacks with a smile on her face, and the man who cleaned Karrli's room in a delicate and sensitive way, and even said that he wished he could do more.

My sister Laurie and my mom who came from California at a moment's notice. They cooked, cleaned, did anything we asked, and made sure I ate well under such difficult circumstances.

Jen, my best friend and "sista," whose caring, concern, and personality I could not imagine being without. Her help was and is invaluable to our whole family and me. Jen knows exactly how I feel about her.

To Karrli's sisters: Hailley, who was the mom to us, and Lyndsay, who was there for us.

To Karrli's father, who really is Corey, the Saint Bernard. Thank you honey for putting up with me, the Chihuahua dog, and for being there for Karrli and me at the drop of a hat.

And finally, to Karrli, "The Boss," who really ran the show, and who taught many people what is truly important. She also wrote many things, and this one seems the most poignant, written January of 2000: "You haffta be happy every second you breathe."

Tribute by Corey Field, father

Karrli was a talented writer and illustrator, who had already by the age of 17 created several remarkable works.

First of all she was an insightful author of reviews. Your program book has location information concerning reviews of the animated television series "Teen Titans" that are published on the web site "TV Tome."

These reviews have all the hallmarks of having been written by an experienced and knowledgable reviewer. In them, Karrli comments on the choices made by the writers, analyzes how the choices play out, applauds their success, and ponders whether the characters' words and actions are in keeping with their underlying motivations. The depth of analysis brought to bear on these half-hour animated series episodes demonstrates the love and respect Karrli had for creativity in all forms. When you can, please take a moment to find and enjoy these writings.

Karrli also enjoyed creating and illustrating the cartoon characters that appear on the cover of the program for this service, including "Mr. Fuzzy" and his cute companion, that charming piece of lint known as "FluffMutt." And as several of her attending doctors can attest, Karrli was an enthusiastic author and illustrator of wild and crazy lawyer jokes. And today I can assure those health care providers that when in the presence of lawyers, Karrli did NOT tell doctor jokes.

These creative works, as remarkable as they are for a high school student, pale in comparison to Karrli's more serious and ambitious creative efforts. Karrli's career ambition and her college plans revolved around developing computer games. For those of you who are not familiar with the current state of computer games, they have become sophisticated adventure dramas, with well-delineated characters. Developing games is not an exercise in computer programming, but requires several components including detailed character development sketches, character interaction maps, dramatic scenarios, detailed dramatic scripts, and other components. Game creation today requires the creation of an entire imaginary world including those who inhabit it.

Karrli's remarkable first effort is a game scenario entitled "The Maintainer." In her detailed scenario and character sketch and script of over ten pages length, Karrli laid out a game universe where the dream world threatens to overpower the real world. The characters she created are caught up in this struggle, and are vivid and detailed right down to their appearance, their hair styles, and the clothes they wear. The characters also have wonderful dramatic personas, many of them loosely based on the Greek gods and goddesses of classical mythology who inhabit the night and inhabit the dreams of mortals. Karrli must have been one of the few high school students who possessed a well read and dog-eared copy of "The Penguin Dictionary of Classical Mythology."

In one passage, two characters fight over plans to replace the physical world with the dream world. The first character, named Mark, boasts of his power to end the physical world and replace it with a world of dreams. He says:

"Who, after experiencing all the dreams, filled with hopes, fears, anger, sadness, happiness, life, and death, could be better suited to controlling existence and rules as humanity knows them?"

Mark's opponent, Selene, replies

"But, you can't! No one can!"

Mark responds:

"Then I am No One!"

This intensity and presence of the characters, and the dream world at the center of their struggles, are the hallmarks of "The Maintainer." We are fortunate that Karrli created this work and left for us so many possibilities to explore. Perhaps we will find ways to encourage other young women to create video game scenarios; perhaps we will find ways to bring Karrli's work to fruition; perhaps we will find ways to honor her memory through her creative work. How powerful creativity is.

I would like to share with you a passage describing two characters: Nyssy, who is named after the Greek goddess of the Night, and Selene, who is named after the Greek goddess of the Moon:

"So it seems, Nyssy looks after all of them in some fashion, Selene does as well, but because Selene's future is "uncertain," Nyssy is the permanent giving heart."

"The permanent giving heart." What an inspiring choice of words.

Everyone here today, everyone who knew Karrli or has come here to honor her, aspires to be worthy of being "the permanent giving heart." They are the perfect words to describe how Karrli lived her life. They are the perfect words to describe her examples of courage, and kindness, and generosity, and joy, and creativity. Thanks to Karrli, the way we try to live our lives has a name.

When we are fortunate enough to encounter someone with a "permanent giving heart," and to receive their love and friendship, that is a cause for celebration. Karrli had a favorite song that captures the feeling of joy in being accepted by someone else, being accepted just as you are. The song is "She Likes Me For Me." The words of this joyous song are printed in your program, and we will, together, listen to it now.

Tribute by Hailley Field, sister

Tribute by Lyndsay Field, sister

Text of the Program

Lyrics to "Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me for Me)"
(Recorded by Blessid Union of Souls)

Lyrics to "The Middle"
(Recorded by Jimmy Eat World)

Memorial Service Poem