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Lesbian singer-songwriter Reider dies at age 30

by Ann Turner, GayWired

Cincinnati-born singer-songwriter Katie Reider, an out lesbian active in the LGBT community,†has died from complications resulting from a two year battle with a rare facial tumor. Reider, who has performed with such lesbian music icons as Melissa Ferrick, Michelle Malone and Catie Curtis, was just 30 years-old.

Reider was diagnosed with a myofibroblastic inflammation tumor two years ago, which eventually left her totally unable to continue performing. Although recent chemotherapy treatments seemed hopeful, Reider died from a sudden brain hemorrhage early on Monday morning.

A member of OutMusic.com, Reider was a frequent performer at gay pride celebrations and†performed†during her career with†luminary†musicians as Ferrick, Malone, Curtis, Antigone Rising, Ember Swift and Shawn Mullins.†By 2006, Reider†had already†garnered thousands of fans nationwide and had done national spots on ABC television, Dawsonís Creek on WB and on Lifetime Televisionís Strong Medicine. Then, at the peak of her musical career, Reider was suddenly stricken with a terrifying illness.

The young singer was diagnosed with a rare myofibroblastic inflammation tumor in her upper left jaw, which rapidly grew to eventually take away her sight in one eye, and finally, her voice.

In May, one of Reiderís fans and friends, Lauren Fernandes launched a web site where supporters could donate $1 dollar for a digital download of Katieís Voice, a digital compilation of 9 of Reiderís original songs. The site, www.500kin365.org, was created to help Reiderís family pay for medical bills. Now the money raised for the site will also help to cover Reiderís funeral arrangements.

Reiderís family recently reported that chemotherapy treatments had shrunk the singerís tumor significantly. In late June, an MRI revealed the tumor appeared to be 95 percent to 97 percent gone, according to Reiderís 500kin365 MySpace page. A post from Reider on the Katie Reider Band MySpace page†on June 21 showed the young singer in strong spirits after taking a vacation to her father's house in Maine, saying the†trip was "truly amazing"†and she had enjoyed "some of the most beautiful signts I have†ever seen."†Reider had planned to return for another visit in August.

Sadly, the shrinkage from the chemotherapy that had so encouraged hope for†a final recovery†resulted in a severe hemorrhage in Reiderís brain as the tumor became dislodged. At first doctors were able to stop the bleeding, according to Cincinnati.com, and Reider was scheduled for surgery in early August to remove the remainder of the tumor.

Bleeding in Reiderís brain began again on Sunday, however, and Reider died while in transport to Beth Israel Hospital in New York City. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.



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Originally published on Tuesday July 15, 2008.


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