WEST READING, Pa. - The legacy of a little Berks County girl who touched the hearts of people around the world will live on through a foundation created by her family.
Laney Brown's family announced Friday the creation of Laney's Legacy of Hope Foundation.
"I think she would be so proud and I think she would love every part of it," said Jennifer Brown, Laney's mother and president of Laney's Legacy of Hope.
Not a minute goes by that Brown doesn't think about her little girl. It's been almost a year since her nightmare began. Laney was diagnosed May 27, 2013, with a rare form of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with monosomy 7.
"I can't even say it was the worst day of my life anymore because she's no longer here and that was the worst day," said Brown, who added the pain is unimaginable.
After seven grueling months, Laney lost her courageous battle on Christmas morning, five days after her eighth birthday.
"I miss her so badly. I just want to kiss her little head at night and tuck her in," said Brown. "There are days where I can't get out of bed and there are days I want to conquer the world. I want to cure cancer myself."
Laney inspired the lives of so many people, and her community rallied behind her. Thousands of people came together to grant one of Laney's last wishes and sing Christmas carols in front of her West Reading home.
Now, Laney's message will live on through the new non-profit organization.
"I think she would be so proud and I think she would love every part of it," said Brown, who added the pink colors and zebra print on the website would all be Laney approved.
The non-profit will engage in fundraising activities to help raise money that can help support research projects and treatment options for children with high-risk cancers. It will also help the children and their families deal with the struggle of fighting cancer.
The goal is to help find a cure, and continue Laney's mission of spreading hope and love.
"Laney wanted to be a pediatric oncology nurse. She wanted to tell them not to be afraid. That was her biggest thing, don't be afraid," said Brown.
The foundation will seek nominations of families to work with and assist, using the following criteria:
- Child has to be under age 18
- Child has to be currently in treatment for a high-risk cancer, cancer that is likely to recur or spread with unfavorable prognosis (per their physician)
- Family has need for assistance, i.e. financial or services
- Applicant needs to reside in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia and Maryland
The foundation will also seek grant applications from researchers who are working on advancements in treatments and prevention of any high-risk cancer.
In the meantime, Laney's Legacy of Hope will hold various events to raise money for its efforts.
- Alex & Laney pediatric cancer spaghetti dinner
Sat., May 10
4 p.m. until 8 p.m.
Upper House Food Court, Wilson High School
- Reading United Fun League Spirit Night
Mon., May 12, 2014
4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
4675 Perkiomen Ave., Exeter Township
- Reading United A.C. inaugural Laney's Legacy of Hope soccer benefit
Conrad Weiser Soccer Club U19 Girls vs. Reading United Fun League
Sun., May 18 at 4 p.m.
Wyomissing Flannery Field
The foundation is also working to organize a group of volunteers who will be known as "Laney's Angels." The volunteers will help organize fundraising events and raise money to help affected families.
"No parent should have to bury their child and no parent should have to feel this loss," said Brown.
Donations to the foundation can be made online or in the form of a check or money order mailed to:
Laney's Legacy of Hope
PO Box 5861
Wyomissing PA 19610
Allentown, PA 18102