In December of 2015, Tara and I were introduced to a sweet, little, six year old. Her name was Katherine and she was diagnosed with DIPG (brain tumor). Tara and I felt so many emotions and thought so many things as we sat down to put Katherine’s story on our website as our WARRIOR. “How could this little girl go through this? Why does she have to experience this? No parent should have to bury their child, no parent should have to tell there six year old that she is going to die.” On December 9th 2015 Katherine the Brave was our Warrior Wednesday featured story. Over twelve thousand people read her story that day, the most views we’ve ever had on any story to date. After that day Katherine became a common name in our community. We all fell in love with the sweetest 6 year old that is changing so many people’s lives.
Sweet Katherine didn’t want much except for creating memories with her family. How does a 6 year old know that the only thing that could get her family through this was making memories that will live on even after she is gone? In one moment, in one thought, in one decision, and by one child our lives were forever changed. We needed to do something more we needed to help make her dreams come true…thats when we decided to have a bake sale. We blasted it over social media, calling for help, donations, baked goods, and sharing her story. On December 24th 2015, we had a bake sale for Katherine the Brave. There was something about that day that we can’t explain, something that was much bigger than us. We raised 5700 dollars in three hours! God knew what this family needed. Katherine’s dad, David, was quitting his job the next day and that 5700 dollars would be the exact amount needed for their mortgage for the next couple months. After that moment Tara and I knew God was calling us to serve others. That was the day we know we had to become a nonprofit.
One little girl who only had 7 years on this earth changed our lives. She moved people, she inspired people, she helped us understand the true meaning of “life is short, love the people around you.” Katherine did more in 7 years than people will do in a lifetime. How does a little girl inspire so many? That is a simple answer her MOM. Jaime shared and poured her out and told us everything. All of her hurt, all of her fears, and all of the pain. Jaime allowed the world to fall in love with her little girl, to help bring awareness to a horrible disease. Thank you so much Jaime for allowing your daughter into our lives and into our hearts.
‘However, I want to say let go #KatherineTheBrave. I refuse toallow my child who once looked right through people souls with her beautiful solemn stare, as if she could see your true inner being, suffer any longer. She deserves peace. Let go. Don’t suffer anymore. I’ll take my two weeks with joy and do whatever you enjoy doing. I’ll do Legos for hours. See 14 sunsets and 14 sunrises. Wake up to you 14 more times. As long as you are at peace and comfortable. Not suffering. Playing with other kids, in whatever is next for us. If I get more than 14 days and nights, I’ll be grateful, as long as they are all joyful days that you are not suffering. I just want you to be at peace. Whatever that takes. You deserve joy, and only joy. It’s the hardest thing for me to do, to tell you to let go, and I haven’t told you yet, I may never say it, but it’s what I want to say. I want you to be at peace, and if leaving me gives you that, then so be it. You deserve happiness and joy. You deserve peace and serenity.#KatherineTheBraveDeservedMoreThanFour“
Katherine, sweet Katherine, we love you dearly and are so blessed by you. Baby girl, we know you are in heaven now and in no pain and no more suffering. You are dancing and singing with Jesus, you are free. We will miss you but you live on baby girl. Everything Stripes of a Warrior does and all of the lives it will help will be because of you, for you inspired us. You taught us to never give up and God has a plan for us that is bigger then what we can see.
“#KatherineTheBrave spent the day with her family and friends watching old photos and videos of her as a much younger happier child. We wanted to remember her. We wanted her to remember her, as well. We listened to Hawaiian music and read stories. We laughed and giggled, and at some points we could feel that she was with us.
I planned this post for months. I had the perfect words to say. The details of those thoughts are lost to me now. What can you say on a day like this.I’m sorry. You deserve more. We as a society failed you. Don’t go. Let go. We love you. Goodbye…
Our sweet adorable Katherine passed away this evening at 7:34 PM, in the loving arms of her family and friends. She is singing now, skipping on clouds. Playing pain free with her friends. Eating sherbet. Tracking rainbows, and everything she did before this horrid cancer took over her precious little body.
Thank you to everyone for supporting us. Thank you for loving our daughter as your own. We could not have done this without every single one of you by our side.
Goodbye Katherine. Loves and Kisses…”