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Esther’s Story

                                Esther Grace Earl
               August 3, 1994 - August 25, 2010

Esther Grace Earl, the middle child of four siblings, Abby, Angie, Graham and Abraham and parents Wayne and Lori (Krake) Earl, was born on August 3, 1994 in Beverly, MA. In November, 2006 Esther was diagnosed with metastasized papillary thyroid cancer. 

 Esther Grace has always been a spunky, energetic, creative kid, full of caring for her brothers, and a close companion to her sisters. She has loved monkey bars and climbing ropes, rescuing abandoned Saudi cats, skiing the Alps, impromptu photo shoots with her sisters, designing web pages, teaching herself to play the piano and making her family laugh with joy. She has amazed us over the years as we've watched her learn to read at four, seen her successfully maneuver immersion French in 5th grade, and observed her devouring dozens of versions of Bible story books as a child.  She has always loved to read and has lately become an online presence where she's developed several close friendships; some of whom she has actually met in person! In every way she continues to live out the values of her namesake, the biblical Queen Esther, who was beautiful and full of grace like our "Star."

In November, 2006 Esther was diagnosed with metastasized papillary thyroid cancer in Marseille, France, with extensive tumors already in her lungs. Following a thyroidectomy and seven months of treatment, our family returned in summer 2007 to New England for her continued treatment at Children's Hospital, Boston. We moved to Quincy, just 10 miles from the hospital, and Esther patiently endured a large dose of radio-iodine in November 2007. Esther's need for supplemental oxygen has continued to increase since then, with her ability to be active decreasing in equal measure. Another even larger radiation dose was administered October 2008, with some scary days where we didn't always know if Esther would pull through.

With her world limited now to her bed and its margins, Esther began an experimental chemotherapy drug in late fall, 2008. She was the first child at Children's Hospital to use this drug, which helped to slow the tumor burden in her lungs.  Sadly, her tumors have continued to grow so in May, 2010 she began being treated with a second chemo drug. However, all are agreed that continuing to fight this cancer is crucial and hopeful.

She continued to amaze us with her fortitude, until recently putting together 300+ piece puzzles, and later sending and receiving the ever present text as well as facebooking with friends; she also continued to master all manner of computer games! She worried that she wasn't as "nice" as she used to be--but learned to speak up for herself amongst the "educated" medical world, when she was truly the expert on her needs, was an accomplishment in itself. 

After a long and courageous battle, Esther passed away peacefully in her sleep on August 25th surrounded by her loving family. Our Star now belongs to the heavens. 

                             Rest in Awesome.


Latest Journal Update

This Star Won't Go Out!

Star, I
told you I would write your story! <3


It seems
that Esther's Star shows no signs of dimming! Toward the end, as her health was
declining, I promised her I would write her story. I realize now that I was
trying to control the inevitable, trying to tame death and that writing would
be a way of somehow keeping her here. I guess I sort of knew that, then, but I
was reeling with grief. I still am. Everyone who knew Esther will never get
over her awful, early departure. 

But her
star will not go out! Love is like that: it cannot die. It may change, or
flicker but it's finally indestructible. I really believe that. Of course, I
knew the power that was Esther, held her as a newborn and held her in death and
loved her with all my heart in the in between times and she was a mighty force.
I am not afraid of death and neither was she. I am so grateful that Penguin has
miraculously (thank you John Green!) agreed to publish some of what I wrote alongside Esther's journals
and other writings. That's where the real story is as her talent is amazing.
From the press release,

unique memoir will be published in close collaboration with Wayne and Lori
Earl, Esther’s parents, who said, “Esther dreamed of being an author.  Her
life was her book.  She didn't get to choose the ending, but the way she
filled the pages made her story irresistible. Sharing our Star—our amazing
burst of sunshine—
is a way of spreading light. We hope others will be
changed as we have been.”

as a family, we are extremely touched by the many Guestbook entries recorded on
this site. Esther loved reading them and I am sure -though I imagine she is
involved in more interesting things these days- that, if it's possible, she's still blessed by
your thoughts. And why not? If our love for her intensifies over time, then surely her
passion for us cannot abate, right? Certainly, her Star continues to shine and
that brightness inspires us, comforts us, and reminds us that we have much to
live for. So live here, now, and make it your aim to care deeply for others. That's what she did and I see no way to improve upon that.

~Esther's dad

21 people hearted this



Yasmine Mosen
By Yasmine
Esther, I'm just halfway through reading your tear producing and extremely inspirational book, girl. You know that I'll keep you and your family in my prayers. You are an absolute inspiration and I am literally wiping my tears as I'm typing this. Cancer? Don't we all wish cancer would get cancer. But you made it, soldier! You're in God's very arms, Him probably reading the Bible to you. I feel so honored to be Persian because your name is originally Persian. I love you so much, that I would pray for you every time I'm free. God bless your soul and your amazing family. You won't ever go out.
1 person hearted this
Ahlaam Rafiq
By Ahlaam Rafiq
Yo Nerdfighter!!!!!
Honestly? You beat John Green. The book rocks. I'd love to read more of your stuff...even your grocery lists.
Dear Earls, keep the star burning.
3 people hearted this
sheyenne howard
By sheyenne howard
I am currently reading the book and by far the best one..I think she's an awesome person. And a really true fighter..I wish all the best
1 person hearted this
Madison Likens
I am in the middle of reading her book and I think that she is an amazing person and a true fighter! I wish you all the best
3 people hearted this
Ana Francatto
By Ana Julia
estou lendo o livro sobre a Esther, e mesmo sem conhecê-la, amei seu jeito de lidar com a vida e a morte, Esther foi uma garota incrível, as vezes, no silêncio da noite, quando estou lendo seu livro, simplesmente recuo e choro, vocês tiveram uma filha maravilhosa, e que com certeza encantou o mundo inteiro
1 person hearted this
Laura S
By Laura
Eu li o livro e eu sinto muito por vocês.
Ela foi uma pessoa maravilhosa e vocês também, Lori e Wayne. Imagino como ela deve ter ficado no Make-A-Wish ao lado de John Green, Dumbledore, cofundador da HPA e seus amigos do Catitude. Ela seria uma menina maravilhosa hoje, e eu sei que ela está sendo maravilhosa lá em cima. Aquele desejo dela de beijar um garoto escrito no diário, as cartas de "feliz dia das mães" e etc. Tem um tempo do falecimento, mas continua sendo difícil e o Brasil apoia muito toda essa família.
1 person hearted this