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Courtney’s Story

Courtney was born January 16, 2001. She was diagnosed with DIPG April 19, 2010. She was called home to Heaven October 31, 2010. Courtney was a peacemaker and was loved by everyone. She loved everybody. She was a very giving and unselfish child. She always had a ready smile and cheerful laugh. She enjoyed going to church, playing her violin and spending time with her family. She loved animals, dolls and anything miniature such as littlest pet shop. Throughout her illness she maintained a grace and poise beyond her years. She is greatly missed by her family, Mike (dad), LaNaye (mom), Andrea, Megan, Lauren, and Ryan. We take comfort in knowing that her pain is over and she is at home with our Lord.

On April 19th,2010 Courtney was diagnosed with a pontine glioma. This is a tumor that grows in the brain stem and is inoperable. It could not be biopsied because of the location. Prognosis is grim with an 7% survival rate at 2 years from diagnosis.

Dx: April 19th, 2010

Courtney was diagnosed at Children's Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama by Dr. Jeffrey Blount. Her oncologist was Dr. Alyssa Reddy.

April 19th, 2010-October 31, 2010
1. Radiation treatment at the Wallace Tumor Institute in Birmingham, Alabama. This consisted of 30 radiation treatments in 6 weeks (5 days a week).

2. A chemotherapy called Avastin (bevacizumab), that was given thru her port, bi-weekly during radiation therapy.
3. 80 mg. Temodar (temozolomide) given nightly for 42 days during radiation therapy.
4. We also gave her several herbal supplements. We took her to Rhonda Dial at Go Natural and had her tested for herbs to add to her diet to help improve her health. These included Paw Paw Reg Cell, Ruta 6, Calcera Phos., and Sanicle.
5. MRI on July 8, 2010 showed significant shrinkage.
6. August 2010-Treatment was stopped because she developed Aplastic Anemia.
7. MRI on October 6, 2010 showed that the tumor had started growing again.
8. Courtney passed away October 31, 2010.



Latest Journal Update

3 Years Is a Long Time!

Dear Courtney,
     If I could talk to you today there are so many things I would have to tell you.
     I would tell you about Dave and Andrea's wedding in May and about how much you would love him if you were here. He has the same love for animals that you do and he loves to tease. You two would have gotten along great!
     I would tell you about Tucker and Megan's wedding in Colorado at Garden of the God's earlier this month. I know you knew who Tucker was because Megan talked about him all the time, but I wish you could have gotten to know him better. He loves to play jokes on people like you did and you two would have been in trouble with Megan all of the time. :)  
     I would tell you about Lauren and how she is growing up to be a wonderful young lady. I am sure Jesus has told you by now that she went to the altar at church recently and was saved. She misses you more than most people realize!
     I would tell you about Ryan and how he talks about you all of the time even though he only remembers you from pictures. He tells me he can't wait to get to Heaven to play with you and how if you were here he knows you would play with him. He always wants to play with your toys in your room and tells me you said he could have them because you don't need them in Heaven.:) He feels the void of you in our home even though he is only 4 years old.
     I would tell you about how God has helped me so much to learn to trust Him lately and to believe that He knows what is best even though sometimes it doesn't feel that way. I have fallen more in love with Jesus than ever and for the first time since you left me for Heaven I can truly say that the first person I want to see when I get to Heaven myself is Jesus. I know you understand that because you have already seen Him face to face and know the glory of being in His presence. I have learned to love Jesus more than anyone and my life is not the same! The hard days of grief haven't gotten easier but they have gotten fewer, and when I have hard days of grief I have felt God's comfort more than ever. 
     I would tell you that 3 years is a very long time, but life is but a vapor (James 4:14) and soon I will see you again! I love you sweetheart and I am looking forward to the day I will see you again in Heaven!

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1 Comment

Tricia Verhaalen
By Tricia Verhaalen
You don't know me but we are bonded together with a diagnosis of our daughters that very few receive and NEVER should.
My 10 year old has DIPG.
Diagnosed 4-10-14
Praying for God to have Mercy on her.
I ran across your post and a picture of you beautiful daughter. She is beyond amazing for I too know what she went through.
I am inspired by your strength as a mother.
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