Cancer is an unfathomably horrible disease. Everything about receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis, undergoing painful treatments, and preparing to say goodbye to loved ones is traumatic.
As a parent, it breaks your heart to see children suffering from this awful illness. It’s enough to make anyone’s heart break, to put it bluntly.
Looking at images of Delaney Krings, it’s hard for me to comprehend why she and her family had to go through what they did.
In October of 2022, Delaney Krings, a resident of Pewaukee, Wisconsin, was told she had terminal brain cancer. Delaney’s family received the devastating news when Delaney was only four years old.
Delaney’s ear ache, as described on the Facebook page For The Love of Delaney, allegedly sparked the nightmare for her family.
Heather and Jack took their daughter to the pediatrician, who confirmed their suspicions that she had an ear infection and prescribed antibiotics.
Despite initial indications to the contrary, Delaney’s condition continued to deteriorate, with the loss of balance being just one example.
Her worried parents eventually gave in to their suspicions that their daughter was ill. Doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin did several tests on the 4-year-old to figure out what was wrong.
Pretty soon after, Heather and Jack learned that their daughter had an aggressive brain tumor called a diffuse midline glioma (DMG). Ultimately, death was the only option.
“Your heart stops for a minute. The world stops. You can’t breathe, you just try to process it. She’s four, you know?” Heather said.
Delaney was only given a six- to eight-week life expectancy, and her journey could have stopped there. However, her family’s efforts to give her the best possible birthday brought international attention to her health battle.
”The type of cancer she has, DMG, has very little positive response to any current treatment available,” Heather wrote in a CaringBridge post.
”In addition to the severity and size of her tumor when it was first found basically sealed her fate just 12 short weeks ago. I have read medical textbooks, research papers, etc. etc. etc. for months and have found very little hope in any of them.”
Delaney turned 5 years old on December 16. No one there doubted that it would be her last performance.
Her loved ones planned a surprise party for her and solicited greeting cards from far and wide.
Nobody could have predicted how many lives Delaney’s story would affect.
“On the maps that we have up, we have stickers to put for all of the locations for where the cards have come from, so Laney can see that she’s got love from all over the world from people she doesn’t even know. And it has taken off. I believe there were 400 cards in the mail today,” Heather said in December.
“As long as she still knows what’s going on, she can laugh, she can hear, she can see, she knows us, she remembers us. That clock, you have to ignore it because what’s our purpose here? To make whatever time she has left as best as we can.”
The adorable little girl received about 15,000 birthday cards and hundreds of video tributes from friends, family, and strangers from all over the world.
The Wisconsin Truck Takeover Enthusiasts planned a birthday procession for Delaney and invited around 500 trucks and parade participants to make the day extra special.
”I’m just happy she gets to enjoy her birthday. There’s no way to thank everybody, but, from the bottom of our hearts we appreciate everything,” Delaney’s dad, Jack Krings, told TMJ4 News in Milwaukee.
On January 28th, we lost Delaney, who had been ill.
“Our Sweet Angel Baby has gained her wings. Fly high, my sweet baby,” Delaney’s mother, Heather, wrote on CaringBridge and posted a photo of her daughter with the caption: “Delaney Judith Krings. 12.16.2017 — 1.28.2023. Fly high, my sweet baby.”
Judy Krings, who set up a GoFundMe to help the Delaney family, recently shared an update on the page.
“Like a flower that we see the beauty of for only a while, we all cherished every single day of Delaney’s 1,869 days on earth”. To those she knew, and those she never met, she made us all better people. Make her proud of you. Your heart, like ours, may be broken. But a broken heart has spaces that can now be filled with the glue of love. Enjoy the love of life in heaven Delaney.”
Now, Delany’s mother prays that her daughter’s story will lead ”to be a ripple of simple acts of kindness. This world needs more love in it, and I believe that is what she was put here to provide. Love, pure and simple.”
A parent’s first instinct is to alleviate any distress their child may be experiencing.
However, there are some things that, despite our best efforts, our hopes, and our prayers, we simply cannot control.
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This little girl and her family have my deepest sympathies. Delaney, may you rest in peace knowing that you brought joy and courage to people all across the world.
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