Lyla Bogardus, a child battling rhabdomyosarcoma, was an inspiration to many in bucolic North Branford CT. According to teachers at Jerome Harrison Elementary School she was nothing short of courageous every time a treatment came around, which was often in her short life.
This past Christmas morning, Lyla, 9, lost her battle to rhabdomyosarcoma — a cancer where malignant cells form in muscle tissue.
Many turned out to have their heads shaved to raise money for childhood cancer research this past Friday, in her honor. This after the town was "painted" purple in Lyla's honor - her favorite color. (This was essentially accomplished via purple ribbons, which still blow in the wind today.)
The Christmas morning part of the story is particularly challenging for me, personally. I don't know if that's beautiful...or criminal. It's probably both, in the longest of runs.
Today marks the first time I've heard of little Lyla, all of this happening less than two minutes from my home - and my heart is both warmed...and broken.