Ava loved the music of Taylor Swift, the color pink, her devoted parents and toe socks. She was born to perform and never missed a chance to sing, dance and light up a room.
In late March 2010, our happy, beautiful four-year-old Ava was diagnosed with a diffuse intrinsicpontine glioma (DIPG), an inoperable tumor in her brain stem.
The only child of young parents, Ava quickly became the sweetheart of her small, rural community.
Mere weeks after her diagnosis, Ava was accepted into a clinical trial at St. Jude ChildrenResearch Hospital. She and her parents spent six weeks trying to get a jump on her aggressive cancer with the standard course of radiation and an added trial of chemotherapy drugs. After returning to her hometown in late May, Ava continued on chemotherapy at home for nearly two years.
In between hospitals stays, she and her parents camped with friends, took vacations, traveled to Disneyland, met Taylor Swift and changed the lives of all who knew her.
In May of 2011, Ava suffered a stroke and went home to recover enough to attend school a couple hours a week in a wheelchair with her mama by her side, though she never recovered her ability to speak or walk on her own.
Through it all, she was an inspiration and a blessing, and she “fought like a girl,” as her country theme song goes.
On March 13, 2012, just ten days shy of the two-year mark of her diagnosis, our girl, Ava Cole, earned her wings. In her short, six-and-a-half year life, Ava made such a difference. She was a warrior and a teacher. She lived her life out loud and was heard by so many.
We would give back all the positive things that came from her diagnosis and more to have her here with us still. Please join us in the fight against pediatric cancer so that those who are still fighting have a better chance, and so that we can save every last child from fighting in the first place.