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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

22 people hearted this



James Madsen
By James Madsen
I had already read and loved John Green's "The Fault in Our Stars," so when I saw a hardbound copy of TSWGO at Barnes & Noble, I immediately snapped it up. I just finished it, with tears in my eyes. I so wish that I had had a chance to know Esther while she was still alive, but your book makes me feel as if I've known her after all. She's an inspiration to me, but just as importantly, so are you, for having written such a poignant and yet uplifting account of a real fighter--a nerdfighter at that! It makes we want to unsuck the world even more. Thank you so much for being such a wonderful parent, friend, and support for Esther and for sharing her story.
Lady Black
By Maria
I'm from Russia, and my name is Mary. So I read the book about Esther. I can't say how much I'm love her. I think, she had good life, but she was very young. She was and is beautiful girl. And she teach me to love my life. So I'd like to say very huge thank you for you, Esther, and for your parents. Mr and Mss Earl, I'm always be with you. I'd like to express you my love and support. I don't know what I need to say... Sorry for my bad English. I wish you good luck
Donna Lyden
By Donna Lyden
Just finished the book, so moving. I am a mom of four and was so touched by your story. Esther's star truly will never go out. You all have amazing strength. I myself can't seem to stop crying!!! I guess we must just have faith in God's plan for all of us. Thank you for sharing your story, it inspires me to be a better person. Thank you xoxo
Gerlane Pedroso
By Gerlane Pedroso (24 anos) - Brasil, São Paulo.
Olá, eu terminei o livro de Esther ontem, bom conheci ela pelo filme a culpa é das estrelas e resolvi ler mais sobre essa estrela. Realmente a alegria dela mesmo com problema, nos mostra que apesar das dificuldades temos que sorrir e viver, acima de tudo ser feliz independentes dos problemas, ser original e verdadeiro faz parte de quem somos e como somos, ela mostra com simplicidade em seus vídeos no youtube quem ela é e abre as portas de sua casa sem vergonha, mas se mostra uma pessoa pura, alegre e como diz no livro receptiva e amiga. Adorei o livro e adorei conhecer Esther pelas suas palavras e vídeos, meus sinceros sentimentos para família, mas tenho certeza que valeu a pena cada segundo. Que Deus abençoe a todos que abriram as portas da mente para conhecer essa estrela e deixar o seu amor entrar em suas vidas, pois eu deixei e me fez uma pessoa melhor.
Anna Siegle
By Anna Siegle
I am in the middle of the book about the beautiful Esther Grace, she is such an amazing person, I wish I could have known her. I have recently been inspired by her, and I now know why John Green had much interest in her, as I would too. I did not really know much about Esther until reading the book, and now all I want to do is make a difference in helping with cancer. It is incredible that Esther has inspired so many people, including me. I believe she has made a difference in this world, and will keep making a difference. My mom had breast cancer a couple years back, and that changed my life completely. My mom is now involved in a breast cancer group called Beyond Boobs, and I help with that. I can tell Esther is going to change my life, I am not very far into the book, but I have already been super motivated by her beautiful soul. I am only 13, and this is making me want to make a difference in the world already. Thank you Esther Grace Earl, for making a difference in my life, and to so many others. You Esther, are truly a gift from god.
Júlia Moll Pons
By A girl would have been delighted to knowed this great angel named Esther.
I didn't have the pleasure of knowing the beloved Esther Grace, as the distance between Boston and Spain was too big, and because, as far as his light went out, I was too small to know all this world of cancer found out for myself the great tragedy is that. But I read his wonderful biography, I read about his fears, about the feeling of solitude that she had, on her dream of being a writer, about her illness. It's a shame, as I said before, the light turns off these great people. A disease that she can all the smiles and tears. I admired her for the simple fact that they fought until her last days but mainly because she didn't stop smiling until the end. I am very grateful to Earl's family, especially Esther, because thanks to them I can enjoy life more intensely, to save me and tell me that everything will be fine. And Esther, wherever you are, you want to say that your dream has come true. You published a book and you gives hope helps many people. Thanks for giving me hope and tell me that everything can be better.

With all the love in the world,
A girl would have been delighted to knowed this great angel named Esther.

Jo no vaig tenir el plaer de coneixer a l'estimada Esther Grace, ja que la distància entre Boston i Espanya era massa gran, tampoc perquè, quant la seva llum es va apagar, jo era massa petita per conèixer tot aquest món del càncer i per enterar-me de la gran tragèdia que és tot això. Però he llegit la seva meravellosa biografia, he llegit sobre les seves pors, sobre el sentiment de soletat que tenia, sobre els seu gran somni de ser escriptora, sobre la seva malaltia. I és una llàstima, com he dit abans, que la llum d'aquestes grans persones s'apagui. Que una malatia s'endugui tots els seus somriures i les seves llàgrimes. I l'admir, per el símple fet de que lluités fins els seus darrers dies però, sobretot, perquè no va deixar de somriure fins el final. Estic molt agraïda a la família Earls, en especial a l'Esther, perquè gràcies a ells puc assaborir amb més intensitat la vida, per salvar-me i per dir-me que tot anirà bé. I Esther, siguis on siguis, et volia dir que el teu somni s'ha fet realitat. Has publicat un llibre que desprén esperança i que ha ajudat a moltíssima gent. Gràcies per donar-me esperança i per dir-me que tot pot anar millor.

Amb tot l'amor del món,
Una noia que hagués estat encantada de conèixer aquest gran àngel anomenat Esther.
1 person hearted this
Nirvana Mahayana
By Nirvana — last edited
I didn't ever get the pleasure of meeting Esther Grace, but I read her wonderful biography, "This Star Wont Go Out" and I just wanted to say to her parents, Wayne and Lori, that Esther was a wonderful young lady. I will keep your family in my prayers, and I thank you, Esther Grace, for inspiring me to keep on going. People say this book is related to the ever-so-popular "The Fault In Our Stars" but this book, Esther's words have a truly deeper meaning. John Green wrote a beautiful novel on mortality and romance, but Esther Grace emphasized the meaning of 'mortality'. And right when I was going to let my humanity pull me down, Esther pulled me up. Her struggle is a true inspiration to me, and I personally thank the Earls, especially Esther Grace, for giving me hope, and saving my life.

Keep the Star burning
ally sindeaux
By ally
se Esther ainda estivesse aqui, sei que ela seria uma escritora tao boa quanto John green. ela era linda, confiante e forte. você tiveram sorte de te-la como filha pois ela foi uma pessoa incrível e inspiradora, ela me fez querer sem algum melhor e também ver por outro lado as pessoas com câncer. obrigada Esther grace por inspirar o melhor livro de John green. <3
1 person 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