Monday, June 16, 2014

The Passing of A Friend

The world is a little sadder today. My son's close friend lost her battle with leukemia yesterday and it was incredibly difficult to break the news to him while he's serving his LDS mission. It has made me stop today and be grateful for life, for health, and for knowing exceptional people.

The community of Pleasant Grove is holding a fundraiser for her family, so if you are in Utah County this week, you can help. Here's a little bit more about her: (And you can read her blog here if you want to see her journey.)

Just a couple of days before Michalla Beardall's LDS Mission farewell, her doctors called to tell her that her Leukemia was back. Michalla was diagnosed the first time in August 2012. After a very brutal and long treatment process, including chemo and a bone marrow transplant, Michalla had beat cancer and prepared to fulfill her lifetime dream of serving an LDS mission. She was called to serve in Knoxville, TN. Michalla stood in front of a large group who had gathered to celebrate this exciting adventure she was about to experience, and instead of reporting on her opportunity to serve the people of Knoxville, she told everyone that she was diagnosed with Leukemia and would be serving in a different way.

And serve she did. Michalla was determined to comfort and spread hope to all of the other patients with cancer at Primary Children's Hospital. Although her own pain and sickness was insurmountable, she spent her days losing herself in the service of anyone she could get to in the hospital, especially the younger children with cancer. Her example of selfless service was one of the most inspirational acts to witness.

Michalla fought very hard, but just a couple of weeks ago, as her body tried to cling to the marrow she had received, Michalla's diagnoses started rolling in at a faster pace than her body could handle. After a long fight, and countless miracles, Michalla Beardall, at age 19, returned home to her Father in Heaven at 2:41am this last Sunday morning.

We sincerely hope that as a community we can unite to help this great Pleasant Grove family. Cravings Alisha's cupcakes, Cravings Bistro, and Firebirds will be donating all week 10% of their total sales for Strawberry Days to the Beardall family. The hospital bills are never-ending, and now they have funeral expenses to add to that pile. We can help them carry this burden, as they grieve the loss of their beautiful Michalla. Any little bit you can contribute will help immensely and be greatly appreciated!


Jennie said...

Julie, one of the children at Primary this young woman befriended is our dear little neighbor, Lilly, who also has leukemia. Lilly's family posted many pictures of the two girls together and she has made a big difference to this child's attitude.

Jon Spell said...

Very sad story. We lost one of our coworkers last year to leukemia as well. Was actually a complication that hit after he had successfully endured the chemo - didn't have any defenses left.

Michalla must have been a force for good. Those are hardest to say goodbye to.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Jennie, what a small world. I'm so glad Michalla and Lilly had each other. It's such a difficult time for everyone in the face of Michalla's loss.

Jon, it's really hard to say goodbye to people who are so young and have so much to give to the world. I'm so grateful for the gospel in my life and that it is such a comfort to anyone who is mourning.

Debra Erfert said...

I understand the pain. I lived through it with my mother for seventeen years before her death. I was only six when she was first diagnosed with brain tumors. Although the cancer may have been different, the treatments and subsequent side-effects were just as devastating to her body. The grief is always the same, as well as the joy that seems to keep us grounded as we view the eternal perspective.