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Family Matters: New Book Of Love Notes Left Behind By Little Girl Lost To Cancer

October 30, 2009

When I read this, I welled-up because I could never, ever, ever imagine having to bury a child.  I used to work in a Hospice unit and saw many adults die, even young adults, but never a child.

The people who work with children who will die are strong and their parents are even stronger.

6-year-old, Elena Desserich, was diagnosed with pediatric brain cancer.

She had cancer and it slowly to her ability to speak, but not to write.  So, write is what she did.  She wrote notes and left them for the parents and younger sister she would leave behind.

“They told us at the very beginning that she had 135 days to live,” Keith Desserich said.

After Elena passed away, her parents discovered that their daughter had left a message behind for them — a lot of messages, actually.”

We started to pull out notes and they would be in between CDs or between books on our bookshelf,” Keith Desserich said.

Then the couple started finding them everywhere.

“We started to collect them and they would all say ‘I love you Mom, Dad and Grace.’ We kept finding them, and still to this day, we keep finding them,” Keith Desserich said. “Literally, there are hundreds of notes that we found.”

Elena’s parents each hold onto a sealed note they’ve never opened.

“We always want to know that there’s one more note that we haven’t read yet,” Keith Desserich said. Via

The notes have been make into a book.

Elena Desserich dreamed of becoming a teacher. Although her time on this earth was far too short to fulfill her dream, she left behind an enlightening lesson plan on life. Wise beyond her years, Elena never stopped teaching those around her to appreciate the miracle of everyday living even as the innocent six-year-old battled a rare form of brain cancer.

Through personal and candid journal entries written as a remembrance for Elena’s younger sister, Brooke and Keith Desserich share their emotional journey as they negotiated their contradictory impulses to fight Elena’s cancer at all costs and realized the inevitable outcome. Page by page, this journal is a reminder to parents everywhere to appreciate and savor every precious moment they have with their own children.

Notes Left Behind tells a story of humility and inspiration. From the time of her diagnosis, Elena accomplished a truly spectacular series of wishes, big and small, that she alone created, from riding in a horse-drawn carriage to painting a masterpiece that would hang in an art museum. Her life motivated the creation of the foundation, The Cure Starts Now, which today helps children everywhere in their fight against cancer. The authors’ proceeds from the sale of this book benefits this foundation.

Included in the pages of this book are Elena’s private messages that she secretly hid around her home, knowing her family would find them when she was gone. These notes show us how even during the darker moments of life, it is possible to find hope and encouragement through selfless love. Via

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