Kate Olivia Rhoades’ light shone brightly on all who were lucky enough to meet her. Kate was diagnosed with high risk, pre-b cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia when she was 26 months old. She underwent two and a half years of treatment, including chemo, steroids, port surgery, and spinal taps. After four months of being treatment free, Kate relapsed and was taken from this world just 15 hours after her parents, Lindsay and Mike, learned of her relapse.
Lindsay and Mike promised Kate that they would continue to fight in Kate’s honor for less toxic treatments for children battling cancer with the ultimate goal of finding a cure. They formed Kate’s Cause, a non-profit aimed at raising awareness and funds for less-toxic childhood cancer research. Another important mission of Kate’s Cause is to give back to the childhood cancer community, which they beautifully do through toy drives and activities at The Pediatric Specialists of Virginia Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders and her treatment hospital, Inova Children’s Hospital.
We are honored to be partnering once again with this amazing, local non-profit as our Community Outreach Partner for June. For every haircut we perform in June, $1 will be donated to Kate’s Cause.
Lindsay wrote a beautiful post remembering and honoring Kate today and we wanted to share it here:
For the third year in a row, you nudged me awake right at 4:04am, the very moment your beautiful face entered this world. For the third year in a row, it’s bright and beautifully sunny outside instead of the forecasted gray and dreary. For the third year in a row, I have walked to your room and wished to the heavens I’d find you there. But for the third year in a row, you are gone on your birthday and I’m celebrating for you instead of with you.
It’s your 7th birthday today and I’ve found the words “seventh heaven” rolling around in my mind over the last few days. Not even knowing what it meant, I thought it a good title for a birthday post. It sounded right – afterall, you’re spending your 7th in heaven, so it felt to me to be a good fit.
Seventh Heaven: the highest heaven, where God and the most exalted angels dwell. A state of intense happiness; bliss.
Well now, Kate. If that doesn’t just embody who you are. If that doesn’t just describe in perfect form WHERE you are. If that doesn’t just explain in 17 words the very nature of your time here on Earth – the gift you gave those who knew you, then surely no words exist that can.
You are my seventh heaven, angel, and I love you more than words. I miss you every day and while I struggle to celebrate a day such as today when you should be bouncing off the walls from too much cake….celebrate you, I will. Your life was my life’s greatest joy and I would do it all over, no matter the outcome, just to be near you. Just to share our own personal brand of seventh heaven.
Happy 7th birthday my precious girl. I love you. I miss you. Best friends forever. I promise.