Laney Brown of West Reading, Pennsylvania has died. She was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia seven months ago and her dying wish for Christmas was to hear carolers at her home. On Saturday night some 10,000 people were outside of home to answer the call.
Laney was sent home from the hospital last week after doctors determined there was nothing more they could do for her. They were all out of options for little Laney and she was given days to live.
Laney told her family that for Christmas she wanted to hear carolers outside her home singing. Her family contacted local news stations and took to social media to get the word out. Saturday evening a few people showed up and then more came until nearly 10,000 people took over Chestnut Street to grant Laney her dying wish. Laney was excited.
One caroler, Megan McGee, said Laney’s condition was just heartbreaking “…all she wants is carolers; of course we can do that.”
Laney was too weak to get up and greet her supporters but Laney’s family posted on her Facebook page telling everyone that Laney could hear them loud and clear. A post on her page read “I can hear you now!!! Love you!” The post was accompanied by a picture of Laney giving the sign of approval, two thumbs up.
There were more carolers outside of Laney’s home than residents in her small town. Her town only has about 4,000 residents which meant the carolers more than doubled that number.
Little Laney was a second grade student at Wyomissing Hills Elementary School. Her classmates and fellow students of the elementary school had often expressed their sadness concerning Laney’s diagnosis.
Laney received a stem cell transplant and five rounds of radiation. Her illness took a drastic turn for the worse last week. Doctors informed Jennifer and Jeremiah Brown, Laney’s parents, at best their daughter had only had weeks to live.
Team Laney’s Facebook page gained over 119,000 likes causing Laney’s story to go viral.
Not only did Laney receive her wish for carolers to sing Christmas songs outside of her home but on her eighth birthday, which was Friday, she received the rare opportunity to engage in a special FaceTime call from her idol and pop music superstar, Taylor Swift. This was coordinated by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Laney’s mom posted on the Facebook page for Laney:
“Taylor was fabulous!! She didn’t just call her really quick to say she did so, but she took time to really engage Laney in conversation. Laney lit up and had a huge smile on her face. We will hold that memory in our hearts forever.”
Christopher Winters, spokesman for the family, has asked that the family be given privacy to mourn the loss of their daughter and to celebrate her life. The most recent update to the Facebook page titled “Team Laney” reads “Our little angel on earth has earned her glittery pink angel wings in heaven. My heart breaks right now; I miss her so much already.”
Terminally ill Delaney “Laney” Brown, diagnosed in May with acute myeloid leukemia, passed away early Christmas morning with her family at her side. But on last Saturday night, she heard the carolers respond to her dying wish. Laney was only 8-years-old.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)