I am Haley's uncle. I watched Haley grow from a baby girl into the strong young women she became. When I look back on Haley's life it is incredible to me how much she grew and matured through High School. By the time she was a junior in High School I knew she had maturity way beyond the years she had spent on earth. I had the privilege to spend time with her and give her advice on college and life in general. Her sense of humor, smile, attitude (positive and sometimes sassy), wit and quirkiness were some of things that I will always remember and cherish.
Haley was never afraid to be herself and share her thoughts and feelings about family, friends and the world in general. All these qualities would serve her well as she traveled through the adventures of life. Watching her go through the battle with Pediatric brain cancer was by far the toughest thing I have had to endure in my lifetime.
Looking back, this teenage girl taught me so much on how to deal with such a challenging set of circumstances. She very rarely complained or asked why she had to go through it or why her life would be cut so short. I believe part of her being able to cope with her prognosis was because she had done volunteer work for other very sick children prior to her having to go through a very similar thing. She was a caring soul who liked to help others. Having had to interact with and support these children gave her perspective not many people at her age would have had. She had such a positive impact on so many people, and she made a difference in people's lives. I never could have imagined I would have learned so much from the baby girl I first knew.
Looking back on how Haley's life played out, I am truly proud that Haley was my niece. It was truly an honor to know Haley and I wish that everyone could have known her as her family, friends and I did. I want people to know the person (inspiration) behind the founding of this organization and at the same time continue her legacy of helping other teenagers that are dealing with pediatric brain cancer.