Callie was diagnosed with pelvic rhabdomyosarcoma in December of 2015, just days after her seventh birthday.
For two years, she battled her disease through multiple rounds of chemotherapy, surgery to remove tumors and weeks of radiation. After many exhausting ups and downs, it became clear to Callie and her family that treatment wasn’t working anymore – they were out of options.
Callie passed away on April 7, 2018 surrounded by her parents and three older brothers. She was nine years old.
Ever since she was diagnosed, Callie and her family decided not only to fight her cancer, but to be advocates for childhood cancer research. While undergoing treatment, she became an ambassador for Great Cycle Challenge (GCC), sharing her ups and downs with the thousands of riders following her story.
She continues to motivate GCC riders to pedal thousands of miles and raise millions of dollars for research that will someday lead to a future where kids like Callie will no longer lose their childhood to cancer.
In February of this year, Callie and her family made the heart-wrenching decision to transfer into hospice care to make Callie more comfortable and allow her to spend as much time as possible with her family.
In March, the GCC team encouraged everyone who had been following Callie’s story to send her a card to show their support during such a difficult time. In just a few weeks, supporters from all over the world sent cards of encouragement, well wishes and prayers.
Callie’s family received over one thousand cards telling Callie how much of an inspiration she’s been to everyone who has been touched by her strength and her story.
Nothing can take away the pain Callie’s family feels, but her mom, Michelle, says the outpouring of support during Callie’s final months have meant the world to her family.
“Your ongoing support and prayers for Callie mean more than you can ever know,” Michelle said. “I love my little fighter more than words can describe… I will miss every inch of her.”
Callie inspired us all as an advocate for childhood cancer research. We are forever grateful to have been touched by the warmth of her smile and spirit and we continue to ride on in her honor.