Laney Brown was just your typical 7-year-old little girl when she was diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia. She loved to dance, she loved music, she loved Taylor Swift and she loved Christmas. So when the doctors told her and her parents that she wouldn’t make it to Christmas, Laney made her final wish: to meet Taylor Swift and to enjoy one last night of caroling. Laney got more than what she bargained for–much more.
When the superstar heard about Laney’s dying wish, she FaceTimed the little girl. That was on Friday, December 20, 2013, Laney’s 8th birthday. The following night, Laney was in for another surprise.
Laney was in her bedroom at her parents’ home in West Reading, Pennsylvania when she first heard the voices. At first, it was just hundreds of voices. Then it was thousands. And by the end of the night, Laney could hear the caroling of over 10,000 people who heard about her final wish and wanted to make a dying girl’s dream come true.
She was too weak to get up and go to the window to see her “Christmas” miracle, but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t able to enjoy the wonderful music.
“I can hear you now!!! Love you!” she said through a photo her family posted to a Team Laney Facebook page showing the girl, two thumbs up despite a breathing mask, lying in bed.
Laney was diagnosed with acute myeloid Leukemia on May 27, 2013, just 7 months prior to that night. Her parents were told that her blood was comprised of 70% cancer cells. After her diagnosis, she went home and made her final wish. Not only did thousands of strangers and a pop star show up to sing to Laney, but also, her dance team was there to perform one last number for her, and Santa even made an appearance. For all intents and purposes, Laney was able to enjoy one last Christmas.
Everyone who witnessed and partook in the event can all agree that it lifted the spirits of everyone in the neighborhood.
On Facebook, one woman wrote that she had seen and taken part in a miracle.
“As much as I want that miracle to be saving the life of an 8-year-old little girl, Laney, the miracle was an 8-year-old little girl teaching an entire community, town, city and the whole country the true meaning of Christmas,” Marianne Franken wrote.
Laney ended up making it through to Christmas Eve of that year. She passed away in her mother’s arms early Christmas morning. Her mother had these words to share: “As you wake up tomorrow morning take time to hold your kids tight. Tell them just how special they are to you. I miss my baby girl so much and would give anything to tell her just how she impacted my life and made me a better person. I would tell her how honored I am to be her mommy even if it was only for a short time.”
Life is so precious, and we never know just how much time we have on this beautiful planet we call home. Takes Mrs. Brown’s advice and hug your children while you can. Tell those near and dear to you that you love them. And live the best possible life that you can while you’re able to.
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