Teen diagnosed with cancer decides to face death straight on
Utah teen BayLee Parks will be remembered most for her courage. The 17-year-old was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 10 and has been through painful treatment including radiation, chemotherapy, and a bone marrow transplant, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
After 7 years of battling medulloblastoma, a cancer in her central nervous system, Parks told her parents, "It's never going to go away so I'd rather live the days I have left and enjoy them," according to PEOPLE.
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With the help of her large support network, Parks was able to fulfill her dreams. She visited the Harry Potter theme park in Florida with her family. She spent time with other children with cancer at a Bear Lake cabin. She took a painting class with Steve Stauffer, a professional painter, and presented a gallery show of oil paintings.
In November, Parks died peacefully with her family at her side. Hospice nurses kept her pain in check to insure she would not suffer. Parks' last wish was to be cremated and for her family to put her ashes in lockets and scatter the remainder at Florida's Wizarding World of Harry Potter and on a Hawaiian beach.
"When it sinks in that she's gone, I know I'll be heartbroken." Park's mom Shellie Bassett told PEOPLE. "BayLee was so worried about how I was going to manage. She kept saying, 'Who is going to take care of you, Mom?' That was BayLee – concerned about others up until the end."
Check out the powerful letter this teenage cancer survivor wrote to a US senator:
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