Web Site Offers Users a Chance to Help Save the Life of a Young Girl With Cancer

REDMOND, Wash., December 21, 1998 — Katie is a wide-eyed second grader, with a bald head and an ever-present smile. She loves animals and dreams of owning her own horse. And she’s been courageously battling bone cancer since she was diagnosed last April.

That’s the worst of it, but it’s not all. Katie’s father recently lost his job. Her mother looks after Katie and three other children, and works only two days a week. They have medical insurance to cover most treatment costs, but they need money for other things, such as a special van to transport Katie whose left leg has been amputated.

Dan Fine, president and CEO of fine.com International, whose daughter is one of Katie’s classmates at a Seattle-area school, wanted to help. Working with volunteers at Microsoft, he developed and donated a Web site to tell Katie’s story and encourage users to give what they can.

Katie’s Web site went online last week. Several employees of fine.com produced the site, while Microsoft Studios provided streaming media and compression to Windows Media technologies. A 12-member volunteer crew interviewed Katie, her mother, teacher, sister and friends in late October, and Microsoft Studios compressed the taped interviews into several one- to two-minute audio spots on the site.

“It was a big effort by the people involved,” said Diane Dash, Project Manager at fine.com. “What we have is a simple but compelling site to tell Katie’s story and tell how people can help her and her family through this difficult time.”

Katie’s battle hasn’t gotten any easier, and more than money is needed to help her. New cancer cells were recently found in her lungs. Katie’s doctor has provided an updated report on her medical condition for the site, in the hope that other doctors will take a look to help determine what treatments may be needed to save her life.

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