Today, 13 August, is Charley's birthday. She would have been 7 years old. The first birthday that her family is living without Charley. My heart is breaking for her loss.
Charley was diagnosed with the brain cancer called Pilocytic Astrocytoma and the neurologic disorder Diencephalic Syndrome caused by the tumor. Pilocytic astrocytomas are common pediatric brain tumors. They are often removed with surgery. Charley's tumor had been inoperable, however she underwent an high risk operation which was crucial to keep her alive, in 2014 when she was just 1 year old. The operation was successful, but it made her blind. A year later she underwent another operation. She showed significant recovery over time. However, the tumor growth began to cause new symptoms in 2019, thus she had the 3rd operation which was not easy to recover. Unfortunately, she has gained her angel wings in the late 2019.
Charley fought the brain cancer over 6 years. She went through overwhelming treatments, 3 major brain surgeries, complications and more. What makes Charley very different and special for me is her determined spirit and unconditional love. I am truly impressed by her fighting spirit. When the very moment I saw one of her videos, in which she attempts tiny successful steps along the corridor at her home while being not able to see, I was struck by her stupendous effort of will.
It leaves me speechless how much love she was made of. In almost every video of her, she relentlessly says "I love you so big". She loved her momma, brother, grandpa, pet Coco, and even her toys so much. I get easily emotional when I see her giving momma her little nose, lovings and chubby cheeks. She was sassy and happy girl. Even in her bad days, she kept smiling and expressed her love and kind feelings. She liked pretzel pieces and ripping up papers a lot. Heartbreaking to see that very simple things make these children really happy, if fact it often makes me question the real problems of the world.
Charley is exactly the same as the hero figures in the anime series I watch. Strong, hard-working, never gives up, super-positive, loves big, inspires thousands, and always wears a smile. The character I always wanted to be... She is the most influential person I've ever seen. Everyday I watch the memories of her to maintain determination. When I have difficulties to solve, I watch or remember her videos as a dose of drug to boost my motivation. I give myself pretzel pieces to remember her spirit when I complete reading a chapter of a book. There also happens times at which I feel shattered when I think about her.
Charley's mom, Heather, is an incredible mother. She has raised two beautiful children, one is the strongest fighter with a heart made of pure love. She taught Charley how to fight the cancer, to survive and to love unconditionally. I continuously learn how to become an ideal parent from the experiences that she has shared. I admire her a lot. I want to raise my children in the same way, if I ever get courage to have children.
The inspiration that Charley has given is enormous. Thousands of people who have been touched by Charley follow her facebook page, sending hugs and prayers. I wish I knew Charley in person and met her family. I wish I discovered her journey way earlier. My heart doesn't simply want to accept she is gone. I feel sorry that I couldn't do anything good for her.
Happy heavenly 7th birthday, Charley!✨ You are always beautiful, strong, smart, brave, and fluffy as you already know. I want to become a hero just like you. You are my hero who inspires me everyday. Love you so big! 💖
FB: Smiley for Baby Charley