Santa’s Tears

 

It is a beautiful morning here, the sun is shining, birds are singing, BUT as I write this Santa’s heart is breaking, tears are running down my cheeks in buckets, for you see I just received a message from Chloe’s grandma, the little girl in the video, that Chloe had just passed away. Chloe was the most positive and precocious little child that I had ever met. You may remember me telling you about meeting her at Sweet Tomatoes in Lady Lake, Florida last year. The world will miss Chloe and that big grin of hers. … Parents please.. tell your children how much you love them, hug them every day and let them know that you truly care for them. Chloe is now in heaven and is now painfree.

March 22, 2016 I took Mrs Claus to our favorite eating place here in Lady Lake, Florida, Sweet Tomatoes. There was a young lady, maybe 10 years old who would occasionally sneak a peek over at me. So, I got up and went over to her table, as I was approaching, her dad gave me a big thumbs up. The girl, who I later learned was named Chloe, turned and looked up at me with the biggest grin I have ever seen. Lord I needed that today. So I gave her a coin and told her I would see her Christmas eve. I went back to my table and sat down. A few minutes later Mom, Dad and Chloe came over to our table. Chloe asked me if she could have a picture with me. Why of course. After dad took the picture he proceeded to tell me that Chloe had been diagnosed with brain cancer on Christmas Eve of 2009. Chloe proudly told me to check You Tube for Chloe’s wedding day. A video that had been made about her. I watched the video and my heart has been restored. I write this as ninja’s are cutting onions somewhere above my eyes. The below article about her appeared in the Orlando Sentinel

 

November 23, 2013 By Elira Benavari, Correspondent

LEESBURG — Like most third-grade girls, Chloe Williams loves to play with Barbies, ride her bike and swim with her friends. But unlike other 8-year-olds, Chloe already has endured four brain surgeries for cancerous tumors that keep coming back.

She underwent a clinical trial at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis and is now involved with another clinical trial that opened up in Orlando at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children with the physician who has been on Chloe’s case.

“She is so strong, and the reason she is here is because of the fight in her,” said her dad, Mark Williams. “She received her first treatment there on Tuesday and she is doing well so far.”

Williams, his wife, Michelle and her son Zachari, 15, have been helping Chloe battle her illness since her first surgery in 2009.

“When we were told, the initial shock was so hard to take, but we had to get out of that mode. Each day we handle what comes,” said her mom, Michelle Williams. “Even though we are scared and do not know what the outcome will be, we have to keep on going.”

Williams said the first tumor was discovered when the family, which lives south of Leesburg, was spending a fun day together at Universal Studios in Orlando and Chloe fell ill. After a trip to the emergency room, she went home, but in the morning, she awoke with crossed eyes and was having difficulty walking.

The family returned to the hospital where more tests revealed a mass on her brain. Doctors at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children scheduled an immediate surgery. It was Christmas Eve 2009 when the family learned Chloe’s tumor was malignant. The tumor came back three times in the first six months following surgery.

“The first time, it was the size of a lemon and kept coming back larger even after 62 days of radiation and now, after two years of chemotherapy,” Mark Williams said.

In 2012, the family thought Chloe had finally beaten the cancer when doctors declared her in a state of remission, but in March, the tumor returned. Most of Chloe’s summer was spent in Memphis receiving treatment.

While Chloe tries to keep upbeat while attending Grassy Lake Elementary, her parents grapple with financial difficulties. Williams, a Navy veteran who fought in Operation Desert Storm, had been working in The Villages but was laid off in March and has been unable to find a job. Michelle Williams was in nursing school but had to take a hiatus to look after her daughter. They’ve had a lot of quality time together.

“Chloe is a whole ball of personality — she is sweet and funny and is an awesome little girl,” Michelle said.

The family is looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving at home. A few days later, thanks to a gift, the family will get to visit Chloe’s grandfather in North Carolina, who she has not seen for five years.

The family has created a website, http://www.teamchloe.org, where they accept donations and explain the rare type of cancer, whose tumors are called ependymomas.

 

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