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MUSICIANS ON CALLMusicians On Call, a nonprofit organization formed in 1999, brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities. Musicians On Call uses music to promote and complement the healing process for patients, families and caregivers.

The Kristen Ann Carr Fund

Kristen’s parents, Barbara Carr and David Marsh, have written a letter telling of their daughter’s brave struggle with sarcoma, the love and compassion she embodied, and the subsequent development of The Kristen Ann Carr Fund. Visit:

Dear Visitor,

Four years ago, we were told that our daughter, Kristen Ann Carr, had developed a liposarcoma in her pelvis. At that time, the disease was so obscure to us that at first we weren’t certain that she had cancer, let alone such a rare and dangerous kind. Over the next 27 months, we learned a great deal about the disease, its prognosis, the kinds of people it most often affects, and unfortunately, how lethal it can be. We also received some great lessons in the human spirit, from Kristen, whose courage, good humor and unfailing interest in others made her beloved of doctors, nurses and other patients as well as her family and many friends; from our older daughter, Sasha, whose bonds with her sister strengthened as life ebbed; and from Dr. Murray Brennan, her physician at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and one of the most inspirational people who has entered our lives.

Early on in her treatment, Kristen asked Dr. Brennan what needed to be done to make sarcoma a more treatable form of illness. He replied that the first task was to set up a fellowship to do intensive clinical research into the disease. In June 1993, six months after her death, her great friend and ours, Bruce Springsteen, played a special Madison Square Garden benefit that raised money for the fellowship. It raised so much money that we were clearly going to be able to do things besides the fellowship. Dr. Brennan almost immediately suggested a support group for patients. He did not have to explain to us how isolated people with this uncommon problem can feel, or why it would be of great use for sarcoma patients simply to have the chance to meet one another and begin discussing the twists and turns of their situations. Kristen had already thought a great deal about such things. She recognized that, if she had not been blessed with an uncommonly close sibling, a loyal fiancĂ©, and a wide social network, her problems would have been greater. (We told you she was somebody special.) In fact, when Bruce came to visit in the hospital, she would often send him to visit other patients, saying, “I have lots of attention. Go take care of some of the others.”

Kristen was a first rate writer, who often spoke of devoting some part of her life to composing short stories and novels. She also took her degree in journalism from New York University. She would have been especially proud that a forum such as this now aids other sarcoma patients. Surely, she would have been an eager correspondent for it, too.

Sarcoma, we often say, was the only enemy Kristen ever had and the campaign to conquer it remains central in our lives. We also feel a kinship with all the sarcoma patients presently fighting their own battles. In time, we hope it will be possible to meet some of you, but until that time, please know that you are always in our hearts, prayers, hopes, and dreams. Every time one of you makes progress in your own life, we consider it in some way a blessing for Kristen and ourselves.


Barbara Carr and David Marsh (1997)