Humans of Hesston College: Kristian Milum

by Olivia Copsey – Horizon Columnist

“Do you mind if I take your picture and ask you a little bit about your tattoo? Is there a story behind your tattoo?”  

So, my tattoo is a crown with roses on the side and it says “Princess Alicia.”

Freshman Kristian Milum; photo by Olivia Copsey.
Freshman Kristian Milum; photo by Olivia Copsey.

Now, princess Alicia is my little cousin who, when she was born, was born with a rare disease called Fanconi Anemia and only about 1,000 people in the whole world have it. It’s very rare. So what it is is that you have bone marrow running through your bones which is just blood running through your bones and she was born without the bone marrow. When she was 8 she had to have a transplant and from the transplant she developed leukemia, so she had to go through Chemo. Then she was “healthy” again. She came back to Kansas and then a few years later she developed lung cancer and they said that Chemo, or anything, couldn’t save her because she wouldn’t survive the kind of treatments. So they gave her a year to live. She only made it 6 months. She was only 12 and not very tall. She was born with one ear and four fingers on each hand. So the reason I got my tattoo, and I was pretty nervous about getting it since it was my first, but I just thought about how many needles she got poked with. She’s literally lived in a hospital. So I got over my nerves, sucked it up and got it. Now, towards the end of her life she got more bossy, pretty much everyone knows about her, and she was on the news a lot. We had a fundraiser for her where we rented out the whole carosuel and people paid $5 to get in. It all went to her. By the end of her life she wanted to be called princess. If you called her Alicia she’d be like, “No my name’s princess!” On the news they called her Princess Alicia Reed and you know those little plastic heels, that they sell at Wal-mart, with the tiara, the clips ons all that? She had all that. She stayed in those plastic heels and she always wore the tiara.

Milum shows a photo of her cousin, Princess Alecia, the inspiration for her tattoo. Photo by Oliva Copsey.
Milum shows a photo of her cousin, Princess Alecia, the inspiration for her tattoo. Photo by Oliva Copsey.

She was buried like a princess too. Even wore a princess dress.

She always told me I was her favorite cousin and she always wanted me to babysit her so I felt like the tattoo would be something that would remind me of her, it’ll stick with me forever.

It was shaded in pink, because pink was her thing, but it faded.

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