Latter-day Saint Life

How President Nelson Helped Me Find Myself After My 8-Year-Old Daughter Passed Away from Cancer


My eight-year-old daughter died in my arms the day she was diagnosed with cancer. Our fun, energetic Laurel, a third grader and budding gymnast, never missed an opportunity to make a new friend and was the picture of health until a few days before she left this life.

In November 2017, our family was passing a stomach virus around. Laurel seemed to be the slowest one to shake off the symptoms. She went to bed with a slight headache and got somewhat nauseous during the night. When morning came, she was unconscious. I couldn’t rouse her. Seizures led to an ambulance ride to Primary Children’s Hospital, and within hours, my husband and I were gathering family around our sweet girl’s hospital bed so that she could feel of our love during her last moments on this side of the veil.

The doctors called it acute lymphoblastic leukemia—blood cancer—which to me is just a fancy name for something that you can't see coming and have no control over. Laurel’s leukemia was quite rare and aggressive. Her white blood cell count was so high that doctors didn’t think she could have been sick for more than six or eight weeks.

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