Karen Stevenson was born and raised in the suburbs surrounding Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The oldest of seven children, she grew up in a close-knit family, in a home built on equal parts faith in God and a spirit of embracing the chaos and challenges life will throw at you. Karen was a natural leader who loved bringing people together, a simple feat thanks to her easy-going nature, quick wit and boisterous laugh.
"Though she be but little, she is fierce."
Karen graduated from Saint Joseph's University then spent several years as an elementary school teacher, which ultimately brought her to the love of her life, Dave. They married in 2002 and had 4 children - Jack, Ryan, Will and Cole. Being a mother was her greatest joy; Karen curated and proudly displayed a collection of her boys’ artwork, relentlessly documented their lives, and could inevitably be found in a classroom or on a field cheering on or coaching one of her boys.
In October 2016, Karen would unknowingly begin a fight for her life. Following a seizure, she had a mass removed from her brain that revealed she had Glioblastoma (GBM), a grade IV brain cancer. Karen faced her grim diagnosis as she had everything else in her life - with grace, humor, and ferocity.
Over the course of the following 16 months, she completed radiation treatment, a second brain surgery and chemotherapy treatment. A beloved member of her community, friends and even strangers rallied around the family to provide any support they could - meals, transportation, friendship, and prayers. The support was a testament to the type of woman Karen was, and was the genesis for establishing Fierce Foundation.
Sadly on February 9, 2018 Karen passed away from GBM. Her legacy is one of love, hope, and above all, gratitude.