Cancer is an abominably terrible disease. the moment one receives a diagnosis, the challenging treatments, and the thought of having to say goodbye to loved ones.
Being a parent makes it more tough to witness small children battling this terrible illness. Simply put, it’s enough to cause even the strongest hearts to break.
When I see photographs of Delaney Krings, it’s difficult for me to comprehend why a young child and her family should have to endure such a terrible situation.
In October 2022, Delaney Krings of Pewaukee, Wisconsin, received a fatal brain cancer diagnosis. Delaney’s family received the dreadful news when she was only four years old.
For The Love of Delaney’s Facebook page claims that the family’s tragedy began when Delaney went to the doctor for a relatively minor ear pain. Her parents, Heather and Jack, took her to the doctor, who identified the small girl’s condition as an ear infection and administered the appropriate treatment.
Although Delaney’s condition originally seemed to be getting better, there were still other symptoms that something wasn’t right, such as a lack of balance, for instance.
Her parents started to have severe doubts about their daughter’s health and started to trust their instincts. They brought her to the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, where specialists performed several tests to determine what was wrong with the 4-year-old.
Not long after that, Heather and Jack’s beautiful little girl was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor, a diffuse midline glioma known as DMG. It was terminal.
“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 expected to live for six to eight weeks, and her journey might have ended there. Instead, her family’s desire to make sure she had the most memorable birthday possible caused her health battle to become a global sensation.
”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 five years old on December 16. Everyone in attendance was aware that it would be her last. Her family wanted to offer her an unique birthday celebration, so they requested greeting cards from all around the world.
They were unaware of the scale of Delaney’s story’s impact on the public.
“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.”
In the end, the adorable little girl received close to 15,000 birthday cards and hundreds of video tributes from family, friends, and total strangers around the world. The Wisconsin Truck Takeover Enthusiasts organized a birthday procession for Delaney that drew up to 500 trucks and parade participants, making it 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.
Sadly, Delaney passed away on Jan 28.
“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.”
In an update on the GoFundMe page created to support Delaney’s family, organizer Judy Krings wrote:
“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.”
Delany’s mother now hopes that her daughter’s story will live on forever and that her legacy 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.”
No parent wants to see their child in pain, and they will go to any lengths to restore their happiness.
But occasionally, despite our best efforts, hopes, and prayers, there are some things that are simply beyond our control.
For this sad little child and her family, my heart aches. Delaney, may you rest in peace and be grateful for the way your smile and bravery touched the world.