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Editorial: Goodbye, Lilee Jean
The sad end to Lilee Jean Putt's battle with glioblastoma is a story that none of us has wanted to report.
From the time she was diagnosed with the aggressive form of brain cancer, our hearts have slowly been breaking. But thanks to the courageous hearts of her parents, Andrew Putt and Chelsey Whittle, we were able to follow her story through their website, Facebook page, interviews and photo opportunities.
They shared the highs with us, such as LJ's first day of kindergarten at age two. They shared the lows with us, through updates of her diagnoses.
But mostly, they shared love with us. They shared their Love for Lilee and it seemed like the whole world joined in that feeling.
As we know they're mourning right now, we thank Lilee Jean's whole family for opening their doors and their hearts to the world.
Because cancer affects everyone. Each of us know someone who is grappling with a cancer diagnosis, has lost their life to cancer, has lost a spouse, a child, a friend.
But because of its prevalence, we may forget the awfulness of it. We may turn a blind eye to the reality of surgeries, to chemotherapy and its harsh side effects. We may even stop contacting friends who are battling their way through it, to protect ourselves from the pain.
But we shouldn't.
None of us are immune from cancer. We're certainly not immune to death.
And just as we supported Lilee and her family through her pain, we need to continue supporting them through their loss.
Lilee Jean Putt has created a legacy, without even trying. She was only two years old, and held all of us in the palm of her hand. It's quite reminiscent of the love that is still felt for Terry Fox, to this day.
Let's keep that Love for Lilee alive.
See you at the Terry Fox Run on Sunday.
Jessica Peters, Editor