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The Rupp Family

 

THON 2011 Family Hour Speech – Kevin Rupp in honor of his daughter, Felicia Rupp

 

Felicia Lynn Rupp, age 13 of Akron ,PA passed away after a five year battle with Cancer. She was a 7th grade student at Ephrata Area Middle school. She is survived by her parents Kevin & Deanna Rupp and her siblings Michael, Monica, Derrick, Calvin, Tabby and Lawrence Rupp

That's what cancer does

Felicia will never know what it is like to go to High school, go to the prom, drive a car, get married and have a family

That's what cancer does

Larry was nine months old when his sister passed away and even though Felicia loved holding and playing with Larry for hours on her hospital bed, he has no memory of her. Lexi and Lucas never even had a chance to meet their big sister.

That's what cancer does

Felicia and Kelly were special friends. They met at Hershey Medical center. Both had brain tumors, both skinny and bald and the most special thing they shared was the exact same birthday. They spent many days and weeks together at the Hospital. Sisters in arms against cancer. About a year after they met I had to tell Felicia her best friend passed away. How do you tell an 8 year old that her best friend had just died??

That's what cancer does

Felicia was diagnosed with a form of brain cancer. A form very rare in children. Hershey Medical center could not even find survival rates for children with this cancer. The doctors did tell us in adults this cancer was nearly 100% fatal within one year of diagnosis. They told us to "make memories now". She battled like a warrior, never saying,"why me" or that "it's not fair". Before we knew it Felicia was at 5 years past diagnosis. She was kicking Brain cancer's butt. We had a celebration for Felicia's 5 year milestone and shortly after that Felicia became ill. Doctors felt she had the flu but she just could not shake it. A trip to Hershey told us that it was not the flu but in fact Felicia had Leukemia (AML) What? We had no idea you can get more than one kind of cancer.

That's what cancer does

Things did not go well from the start. Treatment had started but it was not working. As the weeks went by she became weaker and weaker. One night in her hospital room she was struggling to tell myself and her primary nurse something. Finally in barely a whisper she said "I'm sorry". Then she reached up and touched the nurse’s cheek and gave her a kiss. Here was a child that had every right to be bitter and angry at what life had handed her but instead, she was sorry for the pain she saw in everyone's eyes, and she did not want it that way. She chose to be thankful, thankful for the doctors and nurses that were there for her. That is the last thing I ever heard her say and the last thing I ever saw her do. Later that night she lapsed into a coma and died a week later in my arms. Her battle was over.