Ava was our fun-loving, sweet, smart and spunky 9-year-old girl who lit up every room she entered. She was a loving daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin, best friend and warm-hearted child of God. Ava loved adventure, everything from boating, tubing, jet skiing, zip lining, horseback riding, surfing, swimming, indoor skydiving and soccer. In fact, Ava inspired our family saying, “You know it’s going to be fun if you have to sign a waiver.” Together, we all enjoyed University of Michigan Football, the Black Hawks and our beloved Cubs. She lived to have fun and enjoy every moment.
The day after the Cub’s won the World Series all our lives changed forever. November 3, 2016 our DIPG journey began. Ava endured 2 neurosurgeries, one that was nine hours long, 6 MRI scans, one CT scan, 30 sessions of radiation, two flights to and from London, 38 hours of infusions, 1000 doses of medications and supplements, physical therapy sessions, poking and prodding from doctors and nurses, 1000’s of questions, endless stethoscopes, thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, light shining in pupils, monitors beeping and a progressive loss of the use of her body. Ava had such dignity and grace through this journey. She accepted this as God’s plan, and never asked “why me”? She stepped up like a Warrior and endured this entire process, while consistently claiming to all of us, “there is nothing wrong, I’m fine.” The only complaint Ava ever had during her whole journey was, “I want to go home.” Well, sweet Ava you are home and we all know that you are better than “fine” now. You were a brave Warrior and accepted the challenge with true grace and determination. Ava passed away from DIPG on May 13, 2017. Her spirt and enduring soul lives on through her family’s commitment to research and helping others with DIPG through the Ava Warriors Foundation.