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“MERRY CHRISTMAS IN HEAVEN”

by Sharon Rondeau

Laney Brown passed away from complications of AML on Christmas morning after a heroic seven-month battle

(Dec. 25, 2013) — An eight-year-old girl from West Reading, PA suffering from a rare form of childhood leukemia passed away at 3:10 a.m. on Christmas Day.

“Team Laney,” which consists of family and friends of the little girl, made the announcement on Facebook several hours afterward.

In May, Laney was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and underwent a stem cell transplant, spending approximately four months in the hospital.  AML is rare in children.

Later in the summer and through the fall, the Browns’ community held various fundraisers to raise money for Laney’s medical bills and expenses, including an online fundraiser which raised $3,000 between Tuesday and Wednesday.

On November 5, Laney was dancing, something she had enjoyed and for which she had taken lessons before she became ill.

On December 8, she was again hospitalized after becoming ill with a fever.  It was found that she had contracted a virus and did not have any healthy white blood cells with which to fight it.

On December 17, Laney’s mother wrote, “Today we were told the worst news of our lives.  Laney has 70% cancer cells in her blood.  If they would treat the cancer the virus that she has would kill her.  And if they treat the virus the cancer will kill her.  They gave her a couple days to a couple weeks to live…”

The Browns are devout Christians who surrendered their daughter’s condition to God, which was particularly evident this past week.

Laney’s eighth birthday was Friday, December 20, a birthday she shares with her sister Kylee, who is one year younger and described as her best friend.

After the diagnosis received on December 17, the Browns brought Laney home on a hospice program.

One of Laney’s final wishes was to hear Christmas carols sung outside of her home.

On December 21, approximately 10,000 people gathered outside of the Browns’ home to sing Christmas carols.  While Laney was too weak to go to the window, she indicated her appreciation by a “thumbs-up” while using an oxygen mask to breathe.

On December 23, a member of Team Laney wrote that regular breathing treatments had been ordered for Laney at home.  “Please continue to say strong prayers for a miracle. We have not lost hope and never will. God bless” appeared on the Facebook page.

At approximately 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, one of Laney’s parents posted, “My heart breaks right now. Our little angel on earth earned her pink glittery angel wings in heaven. She took her last breath at home in her bed at 3:10 surrounded by all her family and friends. I miss her so much already.”

At almost exactly 3:10 a.m. on Wednesday, this writer awakened thinking of and praying for Laney and her family.

Before her passing, Laney received a FaceTime call from country performer Taylor Swift, one of the wishes on her “bucket list.”  She also took care of a baby for a few hours, another wish.  On Christmas Eve, following an emergency trip to an oncology clinic, Paul from Gator Boys appeared to fulfill what would be Laney’s last wish.

Comments following the caroling event included:

This is what Christmas is all about. Bless every one of you that are out there tonight singing for that sweet little girl. May God hear you and send healing to her.

so many people who don’t know each other, who have never met, are in one spirit because of a beautiful young girl. Laney, you are doing what many cannot. having people join together for one reason and that reason my dear is to sing for you…

God brought us all together tonight.. And you, sweet girl made that happen. I know that he has Seen what you have done. I am not overly religious.. But you are an angel who has truly brought a community of fellowship to support you and in doing so understand what the love of the human race can do. I know that God will hold you in the palm of his hand and cuddle you and love you know matter what is to come. God Bless you.. Sweet Laney. Thank you so much for bringing me back to a place I needed to be..

God Bless You Beautiful Laney … You have brought about true Christmas Miracles … people coming together showing love, uniting for another … you have made an imprint on thousands upon thousands of hearts sweet girl. Sending you love, {{{{{hugs}}}}} and prayers … still believing miracles happen and praying yours is one of them. Sleep tight beautiful knowing how much you are loved.

Laney you have made such a big impact on the world, what you have done for this town and the whole world.is.hard to describe, I had lost faith in humanity, but tonight things have changed, you made this.happen princess, you are the change in the world….

Family Christmas presents were exchanged early this year for the Browns, including a special gift which Laney gave to her mom.

A comment left in response to an article on her obituary states:

She did more for this community in 8 years than most people would do in 50. She pulled together thousands of people, and that’s no easy task.

Another made following Team Laney’s announcement reads:

I do not cry for Laney, who lives on in peace and happiness with our Lord. I mourn for us, who now have to live in a world without her.

Merry Christmas in heaven, Laney.

Today we were told the worst news of our lives. Laney has 70% cancer cells in her blood. If they would treat the cancer the virus that she has would kill her. And if they treat the virus the cancer will kill her.
They gave her a couple days to a couple weeks to live.
My heart is breaking. I sit here looking at her face trying to remember every contour of it, I breath deeply …against her skin trying to always remember her smell. Every time she speaks I try to listen for the different way she says certain words so that I never forget. I keep putting my lips against her warm skin because I never want to forget how that feels. I’m devastated and I’m hoping that I will wake up from this nightmare. – See more at: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/delaney-brown-team-laney/85456#sthash.sCKiv0Mb.dpuf

 

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