September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Today is Ava Hutchinson’s 12th birthday. She celebrates this in Heaven today because Ava passed away 2 days ago from a secondary cancer after winning the battle over the first.
Her mother Joni shared the cancer details this with us last week:
“Ava was diagnosed with cancer in 2008. She had a brain tumor called Medulloblastoma. A giant word for anyone, but she was only 2 years old. Ava fought for a year with surgeries and chemo. As she was preparing to start radiation, relapse was discovered. She underwent high dose radiation to her brain, followed by high dose chemo and 3 stem cell transplants. She finished treatment just before her 4th birthday. This treatment would save her life, but sadly as we later discovered it also caused a secondary brain cancer. July 2016 she was diagnosed with high grade gliomas in the pons and brain stem. Surgery and radiation were not options. We were told she would live 12 months at best with treatment. Unfortunately there is no cure for this cancer and treatment studies for pediatric secondary cancers are virtually nonexistent. We sought treatment in Iowa, Georgia, Minnesota, Illinois Missouri, etc. Ava has had 7 different chemo medications over the last 15 months. We changed our diet completely. We quit our jobs. We gave it our everything, but the cancer has taken over and the options have run out. Ava’s body is shutting down and she is exhausted. Watching her die slowly day by day is torture, pure torture.”
On Monday, Ava passed away at home surrounded by her family.
“Princess Ava made her climb to her forever castle today. Her climb started Saturday evening. She had a bath, one of Ava’s favorite things. This was followed by a slumber she would never wake up from. As Ava transitioned we did more of her favorite things…..Sunday snuggles with mom, dad and sissy. Sissy read lots and lots of stories, she picked Ava’s favorites. Best big sissy ever. We surrounded Ava with our greatest love around the clock. The snuggles continued into Monday and by noon Jesus came and led Miss Ava to the most mighty kingdom of all. Our hearts will be forever broken. One cannot fill the space Ava occupied….there is a great big hole in this world now. Ava’s charm and charisma changed everything she came in contact with. May you always carry a pink, purple, sparkly place in your heart for sweet Ava. When you visit that place, I guarentee you will find a big smile and perfectly sweet snorty laugh because that was Ava’s way. We want her back so badly. Sweet sweet Ava, oh sweet Ava we miss you so so much!
The students at Bondurant Farrar are wearing Pink and Purple today in remembrance of and to celebrate Ava’s birthday. Ava lived life fully, she was in girl scouts and 4H, she loved watching her sister play softball. Our community rallied around her and her family recently by placing pink and purple and sparkly ribbons around signposts, power poles and mailboxes.
Our Awareness starts by showing others what you are in support of.
Questions are asked.
Awareness grows when passion for cause is seen and others join in and unite together. Answers are given, knowledge is shared.
Love is felt by those supported and that fuels something that is priceless; H♡PE!
In my community we support a cause with ribbons, buttons, t-shirts and stickers so others will see and ask “What’s that for?”
And we say, “I am glad you asked, we are sharing awareness and grieving with a family we love and support this cause.”
Our family and community continue to pray for the Hutchinson’s. Ava is not lost, she is safe in heaven with God. His plan is so great and mighty that we don’t understand why. It is okay to ask Him, and if we listen with our heart, really listen, God always answers.
Ava will never be forgotten, every person that knew her will always remember a beautiful little girl and how brave she was and fought with all her might against cancer, not once but twice.
Love hugs and prayers,
The Engle Family #WildfarmKids