Thank you for letting me read those papers to you. Now I would like to start by saying Katie is the most important person in my life and she will always be. She may have been my younger sister by age but she is my older sister by heart. She has always been the person that I look up to. I always want to be as strong as she was. To begin with, her diagnosis was Rhabdomyosarcoma (alveolar type). This means that she could only get tumors neck and up. She was diagnosed with this when she was almost 3 yrs. Old. She went through both chemo and radiation. The chemo lasted for a little over a yr. The radiation lasted for 30 days. She was cancer free from January 2001 to July 2004. Then, at a cancer camp we noticed that where her right eye was there was a bump and her eye was bulging some. She also had increased facial swelling. About a week after camp she had a CT scan. The CT scan confirmed what we thought. She had relapsed with cancer, and had a large mass behind the right eye down to the palate. On September 8th 2004 they surgically removed what they could. Which wasn't all of it. At this time they saved the eye but she was not able to see out of it. She had several surgeries. More than any child should have. More than most of us will have in our lifetime. Which is a lot for such a young little girl. The damage from this surgery was that Katie couldn't open her mouth very far. The less she moved her mouth the more stiffened it got, and the more tighter it got. She got a feeding tube surgically put in her belly. She had to be hooked up to her feeds 16 hours a day or longer. She also had some of her jaw removed to see if that would help her mouth open further. During this time she wasn't eating much. She started out just being able to drink clear liquids. Then, she got a retainer, and gradually moved to different foods. On September 11th 2005 the doctors surgically removed her right eye because of infections that she repeatedly got. That's really scary for a 9 yr. old to lose an eye. During that age your always worried about fitting in. But in Katie's spot she didn't need to fit in school because she was home schooled for many yrs. But she just wanted to fit in in normal life. One of her many goals was to be able to go to school again and see her old friends. At this time, she had to get a trachodimity because she was at a high risk for choking and to put her under anesthesia was a very dangerous idea. April 11th 2006 a mucous seal was drained from where the eye was taken out. This was sent out and the test results showed recurrent tumor cells. They tried everything possible to stop this from growing. Sadly, nothing worked for my little sister. Although it did slow it down, she still lost her life on May 4th 2007. I can say right now that all these things can't be all of what she has been through. I honestly can't name all she's been through. You think that's a lot! I can't even imagine what it would be like being that young with that much on your shoulders.
I guess you could say Katie and I weren't like normal sisters. We didn't fight a lot. We were really close. I was always in the house or at the hospital to do something with her. Because no child should have to go through that and I never wanted to see my little sister go through that. Many people have come up to me and said that it was a little lucky for me because I didn't have anyone to bother me anymore or anyone to fight with. I guess they were trying to make me feel better. But truth is Katie and I were nothing like that. We spent every minute we could together. And I think we've filled many of Katie's dreams. She may have not been able to fullfill all of them. But I feel that is my job. She can fullfill those dreams of hers through my heart and there will always be a huge piece of my heart empty but still not empty. Because her soul lives inside of me and it will always live inside of me. She may look down at us. But I think and believe that at times she is looking through my eyes at things that she couldn't see during her short lifetime. I hope to fullfill all her dreams and let her see high school and many other amazing places through my eyes. I think of it this way. She did change the world for the best. And she is a little girl that a lot of people look up to as a hero and many other things. Just seeing her smile everyday was something to learn from her. Because every time you have a bad day you can think of how much she smiled underneath that hat even though she was having such a rough life. I learned to always hold my head high no matter what because that was what she did. I feel that all of us have made her life the best no matter how short it was. I know she made my life better than it could ever be with her just being there for me to spend time with. I don't regret at all all those years I spent with her instead of being outside. I think of it this way. She gave us such a great life, its time for her to give an even more great life to the angels and God up in heaven. I would like to say thank you for allowing me to come up here and talk about Katie to all you. I would also like to thank all of those people that helped our whole family make it through those 10 yrs. All the donations, love, and prayers were much help. And I really don't know how I can thank all of you. The most I can say right now is thank you for letting me show all of you Katie's wonderful spirit, and I hope it lives on in all of you and you remember her forever like I will. Thank you.