More than ten thousand carolers gathered outside the home of a terminally ill Pennsylvania girl Saturday night to help make one of her final wishes come true.
Eight-year-old Delaney Walker, of West Reading, Pa., was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) in May. The disease is rare in children, and her family says that “Laney,” as she’s affectionately known, has just days to live.
Family members and other supporters have spend the last few weeks trying to grant as many of Laney’s wishes as possible. On Friday, her eighth birthday, Laney videochatted with singer Taylor Swift, a native of nearby Wyomissing, Pa. The next day, the streets around the Walker home were full of people singing “Jingle Bells,” “Silent Night,” and “Joy to the World.”
Some even rearranged their holiday plans to make the impromptu concert.
“I was actually supposed to be leaving to go out of town yesterday,” Renee Kirkland-Hinton told WTXF, “and I changed my plans just to be here tonight, just to be of support and be prayerful for the family.”
“I couldn’t even put myself in that situation to understand the devastation,” caroler James Lally told the station. “I couldn’t imagine losing one of my own like this.”
[from Fox News]
The most important Christmas story I have read, maybe ever, comes out of West Reading, Pa.
An 8-year-old girl dying from a rare form of leukemia asked that she might hear some Christmas carols one last time. Her name is Delaney Brown. She doesn’t have long to live.
She wanted song. She was too weak to get to a window, so the voices had to be strong enough out on her street that she could hear them.
Here is the important part. It was reported by a CNN news affiliate that more than 10,000 people showed up and crowded Delaney Brown’s street.
That isn’t a story if 50 people showed up. It probably isn’t even a story if 500 people showed up. And, so sadly, Delaney Brown isn’t the only child in the world who has days to live.
There are children who are sick and there are children who are cold and dying in countries of conflict and there are children who are not loved. And yes, it is easy to attach an inexpensive sentiment to a dying girl who only wishes to hear “Silent Night” and “Jingle Bells” one last time.
But that’s not the story. The story is the extraordinary significance of 10,000 people flooding this child’s street to sing to her. That is the true definition of community, not the manufactured “community” that we hear so much about from the political class. Those were 10,000 people who understood that it was far more important to sing Christmas carols to a dying girl last week than it was to do absolutely anything else.
(Joe Soucheray, columnist for
St. Paul Pioneer Press)
My heart is breaking 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.
Posted on Facebook early Christmas morning
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Merry Christmas from NORM ‘n’ AL!