She Touched So Many Hearts
Published: January 15, 2010
Students at George Greenaway Elementary dressed in gold and black for Cassidy Briggs one last time today.
Wearing the colours of her favourite hockey team is one of the ways the school has chosen to honour the brave little nine-year-old girl, who passed away Monday after a two-year battle with liver cancer.
"This morning our little feisty girl lost the battle she had been fighting for so long," her family announced in a message posted to the CaringBridge website Jan. 11. "Thank you to everybody for all the wonderful support, well wishes and prayers."
Cassidy, who was diagnosed with cancer just before turning eight, became the focus of fundraising efforts at her school when it appeared she would need a liver transplant.
Those efforts soon spread to dozens of other schools, community groups and organizations wanting to help.
A year ago, an organ transplant was ruled out, but other treatments were being carried out.
Cassidy had been attending school when she felt well enough, earning As on a report card this fall, her brother wrote on a Facebook support group page last month.
In breaking the sad news to parents and students, school staff this week remembered Cassidy, a Grade 4 student, as a "tremendous little girl with a huge heart and lively spirit. She had touched so many hearts and inspired so many souls. She will live on in our hearts forever."
The online condolences began pouring in immediately from all over the world.
"I know she is now healed and dancing and lighting up the heavens with her smile," wrote one supporter.
Another writer called Cassidy "strong, super smart, spunky, beautiful."
Our family is so very sorry for your loss. My girls will all miss seeing Cassidy at school. Are thoughts are with you and we hope that your little girl will find a peaceful place full of love, frogs, flowers and rainbows.
Mom Tracey logged onto Caringbridge.org on Tuesday morning to talk about her daughter's final day.
"We are heartbroken, devastated and sad. We stayed with Cass until last night. We cried, we laughed, we cried some more," Tracey wrote.
By coincidence, Cassidy's artwork is featured for the month of January in the 2010 calendar for Balding for Dollars, a charity supporting children with cancer and blood disorders at B.C. Children's Hospital.
It's a drawing of a green frog catching blue-winged flies with its curled red, tongue.
Frogs were a favourite creature, along with reading, and her dog Charlie.
On Wednesday, George Greenaway school invited parents and students to gather at the school to talk, and share their thoughts about Cassidy and send condolences to her family.
A celebration of life will take place Feb. 6 at 2 p.m. at the Valley View Funeral Home, 14660 72 Ave.
-With files from The Surrey Leader