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With friends that transcended all peer groups, Kara Lalumiere possessed a vibrancy and enthusiasm for life that is timeless. Her popularity is readily captured in dozens of photographs throughout high school and college; snapshots from a lifetime spent cultivating friendships that will never fade. Maybe it was her warm and outgoing personality, her infectious smile, or her loving and compassionate disposition; people of all ages were naturally drawn to Kara.  She had a genuine gift for making those around her feel special. Kara greeted everyone by name, had a great sense of humor and a contagious laugh.  She loved adventures, but most of all, life’s simplest pleasures; exploring new restaurants and movies, reading a good book or just curling up on the couch with her roommates at the end of a busy weekend. A loyal and devoted friend, sister, and daughter, Kara was passionate about spending time with her friends and family. Nothing was more precious to Kara than the love and support of both.

After graduating from James Madison University in 2005, Kara was employed by the Target Corporation as a Human Resource Manager. Perfectly suited for this position, Kara’s caring nature enabled her to provide words of encouragement to her fellow employees. Kara was just beginning to make an impression as a young professional when she was suddenly diagnosed with small cell ovarian cancer shortly after celebrating her 23rd birthday. During her brief time at Target, Kara left an indelible impression on her colleagues and sales associates.  Unable to work, her co-workers continuous prayers, cards and gifts were a source of great comfort during her illness.

Kara’s courageous journey fighting this rare and aggressive form of young adult cancer began in the spring of 2006. Despite the prognosis, Kara brought the same intensity and resolve to confronting cancer that she brought to every aspect of her life.  Faced with this challenge, she displayed an amazing degree of grace, dignity and composure for a young adult. Always choosing to dwell on the positive, Kara embraced baldness, engaged nurses and fellow patients in conversation, and projected an endless amount of optimism and determination. Kara touched the hearts of many, but ultimately lost her seven month battle at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center on October 15, 2006.

Kara’s story has left all with a renewed appreciation of life, love, family and friendship. Her strength and character serve as a constant source of hope and inspiration. Kara’s legacy continues to grow and her amazing spirit lives on forever in our hearts.

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