Sweet Bree was the most kind, caring, big hearted child, full of life and love. Her smile is contagious and her personality would make you fall in love instantly… you didn’t have to know her personally to feel this way. Bree’s heart was always so big worrying about other children. She wanted everyone to get along, she had a special place in her heart for children with special needs, and always worried about the children with cancer. Bree wanted to be friends with everyone and wanted all bullies to be friends and come together. Words can not even begin to express how much family meant to her, especially her younger brothers.
Not only is her heart so loving for others, but her passion and love for cheerleading and music are like no other. Bree started competitive cheerleading when she was only 6 years old, and when she was 11 she made the middle school cheer team. Sweet girl was born to be a cheerleader and always let others know how much she loved it. Her love for music started at a very young age, she starting singing in her room around the age of 7 and it only got more beautiful as the years went by.
Not only is Bree’s heart beautiful, but almost every time she wrote her name she often drew a heart behind it. Explains why we have a heart in the logo.
Breanna was always a healthy child, besides the common colds and ear infections as a child. We rarely had to visit with doctors. In May of 2013 her gums were swollen by her top front teeth. Thinking no big deal, maybe some type of food was stuck in between her teeth, so we told her to floss better. A couple of days passed and their was no change in her gums, so we scheduled an appointment with the dentist. After visiting with the dentist we were told often when gums swell it’s because of an infection of some kind. She was put on an antibiotic mouth rinse for two weeks. Within the two weeks her gums only got worse and became more painful to eat. Bree was about to head out for cheerleading camp with her middle school cheer squad for a couple of nights. The morning before camp she was complaining about her throat hurting. Even though she had no fever, I wanted to be on the safe side and rule out strep before going around her squad. Urgent care told us she had tonsillitis. Not what we wanted, but convinced this was the infection that was causing her gums to swell. Through all of this… Bree was still asking if could attend camp. Later that night, she had a fever of 103 and still asking if she could attend camp. Morning came and she was fever free so we headed out for cheer camp. Through the excitement, I could still tell she wasn’t herself. A couple of hours after she was dropped off Bree's cheer coach called her mom to say she wasn't feeling good, that she was pale and very weak. Mom immediately rushed back to cheer camp and headed straight to her pediatrician. After explaining all the symptoms from the previous couple of weeks, they decided to do blood work.
June 4, 2013… phone call from Bree's pediatrician asking us to come in his office. We knew this wasn’t good, but cancer never crossed our mind.
Bree was diagnosed with AML leukemia - a very aggressive form of leukemia that requires harsh rounds of chemo and a bone marrow transplant. It is very important to think about becoming a bone marrow donor, because Bree had no matches in the registry across the world. She did have was a few matches with cord blood (umbilical cord from a baby). Cord blood are known to have successful transplants, but they have less cells then what a non related donor can give. Cord blood also takes longer to mature and grow due the lower number of cells. Time was very critical for Bree, but since we didn't have a match with a non-related donor we went ahead with cord blood, making this her first bone marrow transplant in October 2013. After fighting so brave, hard and through all the suffering for months, we learned the transplant was not successful. Our only hope was to move forward with a 2nd bone marrow transplant with her Momma as her donor in March 2014. April 24, 2014 we received the best news ever that she was in remission!
Through all the suffering, multiple rounds of chemo, endless transfusions, severe GVHD, medicine intake, mulitple biopsies, several procedures, gallbladder removal, weeks/months in the hospital, infections, and 2 bone marrow transplants... Bree never lost her smile or love for others. Bree was in remission for almost 6 months, until late September 2014, we got the devastating news she had relapsed. Not once did she ever complain about why this was happening to her. Her only complaint was how she missed her brothers and wanted her family together. Deep down she was scared and feared the unknown, but she hid this well to protect her own family from worrying.
The faith, hope and love we had throughout her journey always outweighed the fears of the unknown, but on October 2, 2014 Bree passed away. She is deeply missed and needed here with her family. Childhood cancer stole this innocent baby girl from us and now we will continue fighting for a cure so that hopefully one day, no child or family ever have to endure this.
Only got to cheer with her middle school squad for practices and one day of cheer camp but once she got her uniform she showed her school spirit and love for cheer!
Everything was perfect in our life before cancer. Our family had no care in the world because we had all we needed... and that was each other. The love these 3 children have for one another melts my heart.
Sweet Bree at cheer camp... never in a million years would we think she had cancer in this picture :(
Beautiful girl.. We love and miss you so much!