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Breast cancer awareness advocate Kerry McAdam dies

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“You have metastatic breast cancer, it has spread throughout your body, and there is not yet a cure available.”

When Kerry O’Riordan McAdam heard those words, she refused to let them crush her upbeat spirit or deter her desire to help others. Instead, Kerry began a campaign to raise funds to find a cure for metastatic breast cancer through, METAvivor, an organization which funds research designed to find that cure.

Just seven days after having bolts and plates surgically inserted to stabilize her broken neck, Kerry spoke movingly to her 650 guests at the first annual Philadelphia Metsquerade Gala, organized by Kerry and a host of cousins and aunts. In the past 18 months, Kerry and her family have become the lead METAvivor fundraisers in the nation, raising $449,000 thus far to help fund a cure.

Sadly, Kerry, 31, of Philadelphia, formerly of Doylestown, died from complications of metastatic breast cancer on Tuesday, April 26, 2022.

A native of Philadelphia, Kerry was born in 1990 to John F. O’Riordan and Cynthia T. Millevoi. She joined her two sisters, Patrice and Meghan. In 1994, Kerry’s family moved to Doylestown, where she attended Holicong Middle School and Central Bucks High School East, where she was a superb student. She also endured an early loss. In 2007, when Kerry was 16, her adored sister, Meghan, died in a car accident at age 20.

Kerry graduated from the University of Pittsburgh where she spent a semester abroad with “Pitt in London.” She loved getting to know London and traveling in Europe. After graduation in 2013, Kerry moved to Washington, D.C., where she became a successful account manager for Higher Logic.

In 2018, she relocated to Chicago, where she rejoined some college and Doylestown friends. There, at age 28, she met her husband, Ross McAdam, who lived in England was in Chicago on a six-month work assignment. It was love at first sight, and their whole future changed.

Kerry’s life was about to change in a different way. In January 2020, aged 29, she was suddenly diagnosed with incurable metastatic breast cancer. Ross, who had returned to Great Britain, relocated immediately to Chicago to help and sustain her. Penn Medicine published Kerry’s story at tinyurl.com/kerryandjacquie.

Ross proposed marriage to Kerry in Kennebunkport, Maine, where they were joined by Kerry’s parents and sister, who suddenly emerged from the cabin of a sailboat Ross had chartered for a sunset sail to celebrate their engagement. The next day she wrote:

Yesterday was the best day of my life, and I can’t stop smiling. I get to spend the rest of my life with Ross, AND my entire family drove up to Maine and surprised me to celebrate with us.

Kerry was the loving daughter of John F. O’Riordan, esq. (Kejda Baxhaku) of Philadelphia and of Cynthia T. Millevoi (Bernard M. Koltisko) of Milton, Del.; the dear sister of Patrice G. O’Riordan Stringham (J. Grant Stringham, esq.) of Philadelphia and of the late Meghan E. O’Riordan; and the adoring aunt of Sunday Frances Stringham and Sydney Goodwin Stringham. Kerry was the granddaughter of Gerald and Jacquelyn Carmody Millevoi of Doylestown, Pa., and of the late John F. O’Riordan and the late Mary Patricia Loftus O’Riordan of Philadelphia.

Friends and family celebrated Kerry’s life on Sunday, May 15, at the Ballroom at the Ballroom at the Ben in Philadelphia, Pa., where their wedding celebration had been scheduled one month earlier but had to be cancelled as Kerry’s condition deteriorated.

In memory of Kerry, you may contribute to METAvivor Research and Support Inc., online at https://donate.metavivor.org/fundraiser/3133777.


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