WEST READING, Pa. - More than 1,000 people visited the Kuhn Funeral Home in West Reading on Sunday to pay tribute to Laney Brown.
Laney lost her seven-month battle with leukemia on Christmas Day. She was just 8-years-old.
Guests at Laney's public viewing dressed in bright colors to honor her vibrant spirit.
"She wanted it to be a celebration. She was a fashionista and asked for bright colors because she was into bright colors," said Jennifer Skinner, whose son went to school with Laney.
While there were moments meant to celebrate Laney's life, there were also moments of pure heartbreak.
"I don't like it. I just don't think a parent should outlive their children," said Jacob Nordsick.
Jacob and Christal Nordsick know some of Laney's extended family members. The couple attended Sunday's public viewing to show support for the entire family.
A mom herself, Christal Nordsick said her heart breaks for Laney's parents, but she believes Laney is living pain-free now.
"She's up playing in heaven. She's healthy again," Christal Nordsick said.
Laney's story traveled around the globe, and many believe her fight and her optimism could inspire change.
"Laney was an angel, a pillar of inspiration, and a bright spot in darkness," Jacob Nordsick said.
Others hope it will bring a cure and keep other families and communities from knowing the pain that West Reading now knows.
"Hopefully, this spreads awareness and they can do something about it and find a cure so no one else has to do this," Christal Nordsick said.
People were asked to write letters on red hearts on Sunday to share hope and show support for the Brown family. The letters will be given to the family at a private balloon release in the near future.
Days before her passing, Laney had a FaceTime conversation with her favorite singer, country music star and Berks County native Taylor Swift.
On Dec. 22, more than 10,000 people sang Christmas carols in front of Laney's home on Chestnut Street in West Reading.
Allentown, PA 18102
- Lehigh Valley 69 News