I don’t really know Karlie Kloss. We once had cappuccino at the Polo Bar, and I was impressed with how poised, levelheaded and naturally curious she was. But it was a few months after our meeting that I began to learn much more about the incredible person she is.
There are few places offering a modicum of privacy in the vast open spaces of our office. The day my colleague Andrew Rothschild approached me, I could tell by the expression on his face that he was going to tell me something awful; his cousin Abby, a bright, funny 16-year-old girl, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer, after returning home from a college visit.
People have come to know me as an advocate for cancer research. I wanted to help and Andrew asked if I could reach out to some people Abby might like to hear from… a pick-me-up during her treatments.
So I reached out — Will Ferrell sent a funny video, Jennifer Hudson recorded a song... I am so grateful to them. And when I channeled my inner 16-year-old girl, I thought, who wouldn’t love to hear from Taylor Swift?
I reached out to Karlie, Taylor’s best friend, asking if she could connect us. I also emailed Taylor’s publicist and Taylor sent a care package full of Swift swag.
Karlie wanted to help, too.
From that moment on, Karlie and Abby developed a friendship that consisted of Facetime chats, texts and phone calls that brightened Abby’s days. When Abby began to take a turn for the worse, Karlie dropped everything to fly across the country to New York and hop on a train to Washington, D.C. spending hours by her side.
Abby passed away one week later.
When speaking with Abby’s parents in late September, her mother explained all of the extraordinary things Karlie had done to make Abby feel special… Abby’s mom Trudy called it “profound.” Like I said, I don’t really know Karlie Kloss, but hearing the story of her friendship with Abby, I feel like I’m starting to now know who she really is; and when these two lives intersected, suffering met kindness and darkness found a bit of light. And that is something truly worth sharing.
I invite you to read my complete piece about Karlie and Abby on Time.com