A Bucket List for Brooklyn
It was a quiet night just after Christmas and I sat on the couch scrolling through Facebook while my husband and son were snuggled up next to me watching Yogi’s First Christmas. Suddenly, I saw something that made my stomach churn. I dropped my phone and began to weep, my entire body shaking while my husband and son asked what was wrong. I couldn’t find the words, I just sobbed.
It was around this time last year that we introduced you to sweet little Brooklyn Danger Hall, one of our St. Jude kids who has family in the Windsor, Kirkwood, and Hallstead areas. On September 19, 2017, it was discovered that Brooklyn had a tumor. A brain tumor. And so began the Hall’s journey with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Just before Brooklyn’s fourth birthday in February of 2018, she was released from St. Jude and declared cancer free.
After being released from St. Jude, Brooklyn and her family continued to visit St. Jude for routine checkups with the most recent just days before Christmas. Since Brooklyn seemed to be doing much better, her parents weren't too concerned that they’d get any sort of bad news. However, the good news about Brooklyn's heath wasn't meant to last. The cancer has returned and with a vengeance.
In a post on Facebook, my friend, and Brooklyn’s mom, Meghan shared the following:
This is the hardest thing I've ever had to post. As most of you know, our 4-year-old daughter Brooklyn was diagnosed with Anaplastic Ependymoma in September 2017- brain cancer. Over the last year, we have traveled back and forth to St Judes Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee for her treatment and follow up scans. Its been one rough ride with 6 brain surgeries and lots of little bumps, but we are still here. Her last scans were December 17th and you may have noticed that we didn't post her results. We have had a lot to process. What I'm about to tell you is heavy...Unfortunately, her scans were not good. Her cancer is back, and it's aggressive. They found 3 new tumors. They are all in different places in her brain, and they are inoperable. Every choice we were given, we still lose. My husband and I were told that there is no cure for her. We might be able to buy some more time, but we can't save her. And this was probably our last Christmas. There are no words to express the shock we are all in right now. The hourglass has flipped and the sands are going fast... On the outside, she seems like she is doing well. But that's the problem with cancer. Its evil, and it hides. It doesn't discriminate. It is slowly killing my only daughter and there is nothing I can do to stop it. I'm not ready...
Precious, brave, gregarious Brooklyn Danger Hall is dying. I've tried, but I just can't wrap my head around this. How helpless Meghan and her husband Kurt and Brooklyn's big brother, Logan must feel. Nobody knows how much time Brooklyn has left on this earth and how much of that time will be pain-free, but until the day comes for Brooklyn to be made comfortable as she begins her journey to heaven, her family will spend every available minute with her.
Meghan tells me, "I know everyone wants to help. Please, we don't need toys or material items. We don't need care packages, although we appreciate it. At this point in the game, we want to focus on each other, on memories, and on Danger Girl's bucket list. We are working on a bucket list for Brooklyn and we need your help to complete it. We are hoping to make as many memories as possible before she is to sick to travel."
If you would like to make a financial donation to the Hall family so that Brooklyn's parents can savor every moment left with their baby girl, there are a few different options. You can make a donation to the Brooklyn Danger Paypal account, or make a donation through the Danger Girl Strong Facebook fundraiser.
Whether or not you're able to help this family financially, I beg of you to pray for Brooklyn, her mom, dad, and big brother. They can certainly use all of the prayer, compassion, and hope that we, collectively, can send their way. Also, hug your babies, friends. Hug them tight. Love them. Kiss them. Soak in every single moment that you are given with them.