I’m delighted to resume our Friday Fighters series, and I hope to be posting more regularly again! (see the action items at the bottom if you would like to share your child’s story here with us)
When Hubster forwarded this beautiful mama’s email to me this afternoon, I read it with tears in my eyes. My heart breaks that Cheyenne was taken so young by the beast DIPG. Please allow this story to move you, and when you reach the end, take action against childhood cancer today!
Cheyenne was a miracle from the day she was born. I was 5 months pregnant when I was in a building that partially collapsed on us. They doctors told she was going to be mentally handicapped when she was born. Cheyenne was born March 13, 2000. 13 days after her due date. She was perfect when she was born. Cheyenne was full of life. HE laugh was infectious and people wanted to be around her because he brought so much joy. When she was 6 years old she went with me to my school to watch and help me with lights. She was one of those kids who made sure you were making eye contact with her because she needed to know that you were paying attention to the conversation.
It was this night when I looked her in the eye that I noticed that her right eye was turned in towards her nose. I asked her what was wrong with her eye and she told me that she didn’t know.
I made an appointment with the eye doctor but it took a week to get in. During this week she started to slur her words, complained of bad headaches and started throwing up in the mornings. The eye doctor told us it was just lazy eye.
Good thing I didn’t wait the three weeks that they wanted for the CT scan because she would have passed before it. I took her to the emergency room and they did a scan and we were taken by ambulance to Children’s hospital of orange county (CHOC).
It was there we were given her diagnosis on December 17th 2006.
Cheyenne was 6 years old when she was diagnosed with cancer. A DIPG called a Brain Stem Glioma.
When my daughter was diagnosed with cancer my heart stopped for a second. How could someone so sweet and so amazing have to face such a horrible thing. But how she showed me strength. She taught me how to look past the trial she was fighting and see the good that was coming from it. The new friends we had made. The things she got to do because of how much she helped others while she was fighting the same disease. We were told no one lived past 12 months and she fought for 27 months. She broke the rules and defied the odds. She used her time to help others. She cleaned the house at OCRMH, she helped the staff in the office like Katie and Brandon. She made blankets for the other kids at the hospital and used all the money she got to bake for her Dr’s and nurses and to fill the treasure boxes. Cheyenne carried around a cuss jar and would go up to random strangers on the street if they cussed and tell them they owed a dollar. She would also tell them the money would go to CHOC and people paid it.
She was my birthing coach when her youngest sister was born. She stood by my head held my hand and told me it would be OK. She then went over while the nurses were cleaning Devinlee and started singing to her. She sang her favorite song ” I am a Child of God”. She loved her so much from the minute she was born.
No one has ever shown me more on how to be a giving person without wanting in return. So when she told me to start a foundation to keep her legacy alive and help others how could I not.
On December 17th 2008 Cheyenne was diagnosed with a second cancer called Astrocytomas. We were told that this cancer was immune to chemo therapy and her body couldn’t handle anymore radiation. Besides the radiation had caused the second cancer.
On March 16th 2009, just 3 days after her 9th birthday at 9:23 pm I heard her last heart beat and felt her her last breath leave her body as I held her in my arms at home in my bed where she wanted to leave this world. I spent time bathing her and dressing her in her favorite outfit, that that Anaheim Ducks bought her. I then held her in my arms for 3 hours until the funeral home came to get her. I didn’t want to let her go.
We have spent the last 8 years celebrating her life. We go to her graveside every year on her birthday and angelversary for the whole day. We have cake, release balloons and share memories with others who love her too. Not a day passes that we don’t think about her or talk about her. She taught us so many things. Cheyenne has 4 sisters and 2 brothers. She touched their lives in so many ways.
Now her little sister has stepped up to help others as well. She used her voice to raise over $1000 between 2 fundraisers at her school. Now Devinlee and I use our voices and our strength to keep helping others who are dealing with what our family fought through. It is a tough battle and these families need all the help that we can give them. We have decided to spend our lives living the way Cheyenne did, in service.
Angel mommy Virginia
Mother of angel Cheyenne Skylar Broswell
Virginia, thank you for sharing Cheyenne with us! Our prayers, encouragement, and love are with you and your family.
Y’all, I challenged you at the beginning of this post to allow your heart to be moved first to emotion and then to action. It’s time to DO SOMETHING about childhood cancer!
- Give money so that we can serve like Cheyenne—by giving more quilts to more children in need. In addition, a portion of our annual budget goes toward cancer treatment research so that we can have better ways to fight terrible cancers like DIPG.
- Give time by making a quilt to donate. If you are not already a quilter, email me at hollyanne (at) quiltsforcure.org, and I’ll see what I can do to connect you with some lovely local quilters.
- Give your story. Has your child fought for his or her life against childhood cancer? Is he or she fighting now? Email your story to john (at) quiltsforcure.org to be featured on Friday Fighters!
Thank you, everyone!! Don’t forget to follow @quiltsforcure on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on what the organization is up to, and don’t forget to SHARE SHARE SHARE these posts to spread the word about the tragedy of childhood cancer and get people to DO SOMETHING about it.