Widgets Magazine

Obituary: Sarah Adicoff, 1989-2011

Born in San Jose, Calif., on Sept. 14, 1989, Sarah died Jan. 20, 2011, in her parents’ arms of complications from cancer treatment.

Sarah Adicoff '12 in 2007. (Courtesy of Sue Conner)

Sarah sang with gusto from the age of 15 months and carried her musicality and ability to remember any lyric to high school and local stage productions, such as “The Boys from Syracuse,” “Pirates of Penzance” and “Hair.” She enjoyed playing soccer, skiing and swimming competitively for many years, eventually concentrating on swimming year-round with her wonderful coaches and peers on the 5B Swim team.

School was one of Sarah’s passions, and she was lucky to attend Mulberry School in San Jose, where she formed deep friendships with both teachers and kids, learned to work out problems and mediate between others, enjoy learning and participate in so many creative projects. From about the second grade, Sarah organized her own parties and made her own Halloween costumes. True to form, in 2004, Sarah organized a well-attended reunion of her fifth grade class in Sun Valley, where the kids played hard, hung out and made good use of the infamous “Adiconner” costume box to produce skits and other hilarity. After moving to Sun Valley, Idaho, in 2000, Sarah attended Wood River Middle School, then graduated from The Community School in December 2007. She was selected for the Laura S. Flood Foundation award and received a National Merit Letter of Commendation.

Rhabdomyosarcoma interrupted Sarah’s life when she was 16, arriving at a time of normal transition and separation, making her once again very dependent on parents and causing her to miss much of her schooling and regular young-adult life. Cancer took much of her strength, her singing voice and, she felt, some of her ability to think and remember. Nonetheless, her treatment afforded her some longer periods of relative “health” in which she was able to pursue her studies or travel extensively with various family members. Her caretakers have been amazed by her resiliency and accomplishments throughout her treatments. Her death is an illustration of the appalling lack of improvement, over the last 35 years, in survival rates among 15- to 40-year-olds with cancer.

We will miss Sarah’s humor, grace, enthusiasm for engagement and keen observation and interest in the animal world.

Sarah is survived by her loving parents, Samuel Adicoff and Susan Conner; her younger brothers, William and Jacob; grandparents Arnold and Ruth Adicoff and William and Marilyn Conner; uncle Charles (Anne Simpson) Conner; aunts Cathy (Ted Furst) Conner, Jill Conner, Annie (Mark Schneider) Adicoff and Carrie Adicoff; and cousins Alison and Madeline Conner, Rebekkah and Ariel Adicoff and Kyle and Kurt Schneider.

A memorial is being planned for the Sun Valley, Idaho, area in February, and later this spring in the Stanford area. Details are pending and will be published in The Daily. Donations for research are suggested for Seattle Children’s Sarcoma Research, Fred Barr’s lab at University of Pennsylvania, St. Baldrick’s Foundation or one of the wonderful organizations from which she benefited greatly: Camp Rainbow Gold, Idaho Make a Wish or Ronald McDonald House.

–Courtesy of Sue Conner and Sam Adicoff