Cancer patient turns dog into shelter before killing herself

Cancer patient turns dog into shelter before killing herself
Crystal Chrisp, 46, killed herself after finding out her cancer had returned. Her dog Shell was later adopted. (Source: KMOV/CNN)

AFFTON, MO (KMOV/CNN) - A 46-year-old bus driver in Missouri killed herself earlier this week after finding out her cancer had returned.

Cancer patient turns dog into shelter before killing self

Before taking her own life, she dropped her dog off at a shelter with a heartbreaking note.

"I met Crystal about 18 years ago and we became very close friends,” said Sharon Hyster-Harris, a friend of Crystal Chrisp. “We laughed together, we cried together. We fought a little, we made up a lot."

Just like Hyster-Harris, Chrisp was a metro bus driver.

Chrisp was found dead inside her apartment Tuesday after a fire.

Authorities said she wasn’t killed by the fire.

She died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Recently, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"She was dealing with it a few years back and she had gone into remission,” said Hyster-Harris. “A couple of months ago it came back and I just think she decided she just couldn't deal with it anymore."

The news of her death and the fire came as a shock to neighbors.

But what struck so many was Chrisp’s compassion for her dog, Shell.

She dropped the dog off at stray rescue with a note before she took her life.

In the note she said she'd lost her battle with cancer and needed her baby to be taken care of.

Hyster-Harris said her friend's dog was like a child to her, but she loved all dogs.

"I have a dog, her name is Lola and she loved Lola just as much as she did hers,” said Hyster-Harris. “The compassion she had for the animals, she had twice as much compassion for humans."

Friends said Chrisp worked hard and in life, gave it her all but couldn’t bear going through another painful battle with cancer.

"She was my friend and I'm just going to miss her. My heart is really aching right now for her," said Hyster-Harris.

There is a glimmer of hope in this tragic story.

The shelter said a woman heard about Chrisp’s story and came in to adopt Shell.

The dog and her new owner are already inseparable.

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