A cancer diagnosis is heartbreaking news. Actually, it’s almost always terrifying and brings the strongest of us to our knees. The sense of unfairness that accompanies the diagnosis is amplified when kids are involved.
While the medical field is better suited than ever before to battle this terrible disease, there are still times when physicians are simply forced to say that there’s nothing else they can do.
When the Spader family, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, learned that their 10-year-old’s daughter had terminal cancer, they wanted to do something amazing for her. Through some creativity, they ended up being successful.
According to the Daily Mail, mom Stephanie Spader realized that something was going on with her daughter Rebekah when she was 6-years-old. After going to the doctor, it was discovered that she had myelodysplastic syndrome. Whilst that is not a cancer in itself, some of its variations can develop into cancer down the line.
Rebekah went through bone-marrow transplant, in the hope that it would later save her life. Sadly, however, the procedure was not successful, and the disease began to quickly spread through Rebekah’s system.
Having been told her days were limited, her parents made the difficult decision to cease Rebekah’s treatment, instead focusing on making sure her remaining time on the Earth was as enjoyable as possible.
It was in this train of thought that her big brother A.J. made the decision to do something that was absolutely moving. He wanted to take his sister – who had turned 10 at this time – to his freshman formal dance in high school.
Of course, Rebekah accepted her brother’s offer right away, and plans were made to make sure she had an incredible time.
“I wanted to ask my sister, because she’s most likely not going to be able to experience high school,” A.J. explained.
“So I just thought, ‘Why not ask her to formal?’”
“Her laugh is pretty great,” he continued. “It’s really fun to just be around her and just make memories.I want to spend as much time with her as possible while she’s still doing good.”
So Rebekah went to the dance, which took place on Valentine’s Day in 2016, and the brother and sister had a fantastic time.
Tragically, the formal would be one of the siblings’ last memories together. Little Rebekah passed away on August 4 of that same year, but her family can rest assured that they made her time in this life an enjoyable experience.