Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A new angel in Heaven

I'm breaking my silent streak to pay tribute to a very special little girl named Elizabeth Grace Dunford. She was diagnosed with AML M7 on March 17 of 2008, and exactly 17 months later on August 17, she went home to be with Jesus. She was 2 years old. I never met Elizabeth, but she has touched my very soul in a way I thought not possible. I first noticed her name on the labels of chemo I made at St. Jude and I decided to see if she had a caringbridge page like many of the patients do. I probably shouldn't do this, because I start to feel a personal attachment to these kids when I read about their day to day struggles. Elizabeth went through SO MUCH, she did regular chemo, then had a haploidentcal bone marrow transplant in which her daddy was her donor. She was so doing SO WELL, until she developed hypereosinophilia and her skin began to sluff off, once that was controlled, her liver started acting up and it was eventually found out she had post transplant lymphoproliferative disease which is like another cancer, actually the most common type to have after having a transplant. Elizabeth went to the ICU after suffering some seizure type activity, and the angel baby never woke up, but she knew her family was there with her all the time. Elizabeth was extrememly loved not only by her family, but by everyone who came in contact with her at St. Jude. A lot of people are grieving for a loss greater then words can express. Elizabeth was like a beautiful bird that flapped into our drab little cage and made it wonderful, even just for a moment. It was wrong to try to cage her though, and now she's finally free, fly sweet Elizabeth, fly.