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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



Friends,



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,



"The
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.”



Finally,
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





















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Comments

33 Comments

Aleia McCready
By Aleia
I am reading the book "this star won't go out", and I wish I could meet Esther. She sounded like an amazing person. We seem to have a lot in common and I wish I knew about her sooner so I could have visited her. Her inspiring diary entrees make me want to be more connected with God and always trust his/her judgement. I can not bare to think someone so young and innocent being taken away for no reason, but I guess God has his/her reasons for everything. This inspirational story wants me to donate and help cancer patients. Thank you so much for being in this world Esther I wish I could meet you!!!
Lissete López
By Lissy — last edited
El libro, sólo una inspiración, tal vez, yo soy de Chile y tengo cáncer, pero después de leer la historia de Ester me ayudó, sólo una inspiración.
Sydney Harrold
By Sydney Marie
I am reading that book and it is very inspiring Esther sound very amazing I love that no matter what she was always happy. (or at least it sounds like it in the book) I really appreciate that you are sharing her story because it is beautiful.I wish that we could have gotten a chance to meet because she sounds pretty awesome!
estella kxsk
By estella kxsk — last edited
i have already read Esther book and i cried a lot her dead. She was fantastic. i saw all her videos. when i was reading her book i wished to be her friend. she change my life. i wish i can met her to speak with this amazing person. before read about Esther life i thought that we are born to die but now i think that we are born to live our live and it doesn't matter how long is going to be . esther change my mind.
excuse my english i'm from spain. I hope you understand
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Anto Sierpe
By Anto Sierpe
Acabo de terminar de leer tu historia. Y como lo dice el libro cambia la forma de ver el mundo. Es impresionante como a pesar del cáncer, fuiste agradecida hasta el último minuto. Y como quisiste a las persona. Realmente maravilloso. Muchos besos a la familia de Esther, desde Argentina
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sadie soria
By Sadie Robby
Hey, i just wanted to let you know, that i didn't know Esther but i wish i did she seems like a saint and i know we all make mistakes but somehow i think Esther only made some. I wish i met Esther she seems like a great funny girl. I'm in love with this book you guys did a really good job. And so did John Green,lol.
i really would've liked to meet Esther... *SNIFFLES* that would be my one dream no celebrity no super model ESTHER that's who... please e-mail back.... ;')
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Micaela Aguirre
By Micaela Aguirre
Crying because of de book, all my love for you lori and wayne and your family😘 Esther protects you from above
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2 people hearted this
Lydia Bayonas
By Lydia
Has sido una chica excelente. Estoy leyendo tu historia desde Madrid, España. Muchos besos a tu familia
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1 person hearted this
Valentina Di Bastiano
By Valentina from Argentina.
I'm reading the book, and fuck that Esther was awesome. I can't understand how she was so strong, having cancer and being sick. She's an inspiration for everyone, and I hope that her soul and her vibes will be forever with us. I hope too, you guys have an amazing 2015 and never give up!
Alexa Faria
By Sincerely Alexa❤️
I am in the middle of reading this star won't go out you guys were amazing to Esther and don't forget that we all love reading about Esther I hope you guys have an amazing 2015