A memorial service was held today at the First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton for Kristen Stitt, a 21-year-old political science and international studies student at UC Irvine. Stitt, diagnosed with lymphoma last November, was a beacon of activity on campus, serving as a member of the Global Student Experience, the Alpha Phi sorority and the Olive Tree initiative.
"Kristen's optimism, even when her health was most severe, never wavered," said Soraya Azzawi, a close friend who recalled Stitt adamantly fashioning pink nail polish even while confined to a hospital bed.
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Stitt's diagnosis, followed by her death on June 28, came as a shock to family and friends who regarded her as the epitome of youth and healthfulness.
Alpha Phi, a Greek organization dedicated to promoting leadership and service, held a candlelight vigil for Stitt last Thursday at a Corona Del Mar beach. Friends, family and sorority sisters shared stories in honor of Stitt.
The Olive Tree Initiative, a group of students devoted to understanding the various perspectives on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, also organized a scrapbook filled with notes, pictures and recollections in memory of Stitt.
Azzawi traveled with Stitt and 28 other OTI members to the Israel/Palestine region last summer. Of her experiences with Stitt, she highlights her "indomitable free spirit and the fact that Kristin never had a frown on her face."