Meet our NC Angels:
Anna Elizabeth Brooks
10/17/1999 – 04/16/2010
Anna was a full-of-life, free-spirited 10 year old. She was a competition cheerleader who also enjoyed gymnastics and softball. Anna’s true passion was singing and dancing on the Children’s Praise Team at church. She was in the 4th grade.
For several weeks Anna had some vague symptoms of headache, stomachache and an occasional fever, but always bounced right back after a quick nap. Nothing held her down or back. Finally she had some symptoms with her gums and the dentist wanted to do blood work. The results changed our lives. She was initially diagnosed with leukemia on April 10, 2010. Her official diagnosis was Acute Myeloid Leukemia 5-b. Aggressive and rare in children are the words I remember. Complications of DIC and tumor lysis were already present on admission to our local children’s hospital. We went to the hospital on Saturday, April 10, 2010. By Monday, April 12, 2010 she was placed on a vent because of the complications and to have her port placed for chemo. Anna never was able to be taken off the vent after that. She received chemo around the clock but leukemia was secondary to DIC at that point. Anna passed away only 6 short days on April 16, 2010. Many see her quick passing as a terrible tragedy. I see it as a blessing. Anna only had to know she had cancer for 2 days. She rested peacefully through the chemo and never had to fear the outcome. We talked the day we went to the hospital, and Anna knew without a doubt who was in control and if dying was her outcome she knew HEAVEN was her reward. She knew she would wake up to the face of her Almighty Savior.
The day I told Anna we had to go to the hospital she got mad because she was getting ready to go to the movies and couldn’t go. That’s how she lived. Even as sick as she was, she wanted to go to the movies. She lived until she simply didn’t. She lived BIG. She lived life to the fullest all her days. I miss her beyond belief but live with the hope that I will be reunited with her one day. I grieve but not like those with no hope. WE LOVE YOU ANNA AND CAN’T WAIT TO SPEND ETERNITY WITH YOU! Love, Mommy, Daddy, and Ben www.caringbridge.org/visit/annabrooks
Emily Lauren Rose
6/10/1997 – 12/20/2008
A cheerleader and honors student, Emily had just completed her junior year in high school and had just begun her summer volunteering as a counselor at a summer camp. For one week out of the summer, the camp is utilized by CampCare – a camp dedicated to children with cancer. Since CampCare brings in their own staff, the counselors are given that week off. Emily decided to stay and volunteer with the CampCare kids. She was deeply touched by the children she got to know and called me from camp in tears sharing their stories of bravery, their great appreciation for life and the things that really mattered.
A week later, Emily became ill with a sore throat, enlarged tonsils and was completely zapped of energy. The doctor suspected mono, but after a routine blood test, we were told “Emily has leukemia”. Further testing revealed she had Acute Myeloid Leukemia and she began chemotherapy that very same day. After three aggressive rounds of chemo, a bone marrow transplant, and being hospitalized for five months, Emily sadly lost her battle at the age of 17.
As was characteristic of Emily, she was more worried about those of us around her than herself. She fought her battle with courage and dignity and taught each of us how to truly live life. She left with us the beautiful memories of her radiant smile and the unselfish love she had for all of us. We miss you, Angel face. www.caringbridge.org/visit/emilyrose
Watch Shayla in a Make Some Noise video with me and some of our other oncology warrior friends last year, (she is the one with the short blonde hair):
We set up the quilt Thursday night in Asheville Mall. It took a while because the security guard wanted to share bear stories with us. We didn’t get out of the mall until 2am, and went to look for a hotel. Friday in the mall was a little quiet. Savannah Garrett, (Shayla’s sister), spent the day helping out manning the quilt.