Grieving Aunt Honors Her Late Niece
There are times when speech falls short, and pictures capture what words simply can’t. That’s certainly the case with a heartbreaking photo series shared by a grieving aunt known as Taisce on the social sharing site, Imgur.
Katherine The Brave
At just 6 years old, Katherine King began displaying behaviors that alarmed her mom, Jamie. She stumbled, started seeing double and even suffered some hearing loss. It took multiple doctors to finally diagnose the little girl and confirm Jamie’s worst fears. Katherine suffered from an incredibly aggressive and incurable form of brain cancer — Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).
Given just 9 months left to live, the diagnosis was a complete shock to the family. Her mom set up the Facebook page, Katherine the Brave, to document her journey. It provided a way for far away family, like Taisce, to stay in the loop.
But it was also a way to spread Katherine’s sad story in the hope of raising awareness and support of this terrible disease.
Sadly, pediatric cancer receives very little funding or research. Most efforts focus on adults, instead. As a result, there have been few advancements over the years to help kids with cancer.
This is precisely why sharing Katherine’s story is so important to her family. Their hope is that more awareness will spare another family from experiencing the same heartbreak they’ve been forced to endure. Jamie wrote,
“We are asking that people share her story and her fight with DIPG! Get the word out, talk about this, get upset, wonder, question this disease . . . so that other parents and kids, when told that they have DIPG and a 9 month survival rate, are not stuck with no hope as we've been given, and have had to look beyond for our own hope.”
This brave little angel left for Heaven about a year after her diagnosis. Reeling from the pain of losing her beloved 7-year-old niece far too soon, her aunt, Taisce, posted a string of photos showing Katherine’s cancer battle. It’s a heart-wrenching yet beautiful tribute, honoring the sweet girl the world lost, but also her parents wishes to spread awareness.
Here is the full tribute as posted by Katherine’s grieving aunt:
Goodbye Katherine King.
You left us too early.
Way before your time.
There was still so much to do and experience.
You had your entire life before you.
You should have been able to go to high school.
She should have had a boyfriend…
Had her 2.5 children.
And had all of her dreams fulfilled.
Instead you were given an hour glass.
With the time you were given you raised awareness.
Raised money for charity.
Worried more about others than yourself.
You wanted everyone to be happy.
To not worry about you, you even were sure that it was your fault you were sick.
You were kind when you could have lashed out.
You were brave even though you had every reason to be afraid.
You were strong even though you were allowed to be weak.
Even as you slipped away, you never wanted others to worry.
In a time where you could be selfish, you were selfless.
You were loved by everyone who met you.
You touched the lives of everyone you knew, you made them better through your own strength and love.
Your tumour made you a prisoner inside your own body.
You couldn't sing, you couldn't dance, you couldn't tell your family that you loved them.
Worst of all you couldn't eat rainbow sherbet anymore.
Or tell people that your favourite colour was rainbow.
You were told it was okay to let go, to not suffer, to not be in pain.
And you did, and you will be missed by so many people.
You were loved by more than you'll ever realise.
But, you will live forever within our hearts and our memories.
The family’s efforts to advocate for others during such a difficult time is truly inspirational. Please keep each of them in your prayers.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Revelation 21:4
Hear the heartbreaking reason this sweet girl says she’s ready to meet Jesus.
h/t: Huffington Post