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Front Page » April 24, 2014 » Focus » Community 'Heart Attack' covers Brylee's home with love
Published 148 days ago

Community 'Heart Attack' covers Brylee's home with love


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By C.J. McMANUS
Sun Advocate associate editor

The joy and love offered by those in the most tragic and painful situations can often show just how special a child's love can be.

"She gave me so much," said family friend and former caregiver Ashley Hoffman. "She showed me what the meaning of love can be, she showed my how precious every moment of a person's life is."

Hoffman organized a "Heart Attack" event at Brylee's home Tuesday night, in which loved ones and family members came to write letters on heart shaped cards which were then taped to her home.

Hoffman had put together a similar get together after the tragedy at the Donaldson residence. According to those close to that incident, seeing the home covered in loving comments made the tragic circumstances much easier to deal with.

In March of 2013, Price's Brylee Olson was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and told that she most likely would not live another year.

Brylee's condition was discovered after her mother Lara began noticing that her child was continually sick with condition after condition. When she finally started putting the illnesses together it became apparent that her daughter might be dealing with something more serious.

"They told us she probably would not make it to Christmas," said Brylee's mother Lara Olson last winter. To combat the tumor's progression, Brylee began a new chemotherapy protocol which could extend her life through February. While the protocol did show some success, Olson's tumor has now returned to it's original size, said Hoffman.

The "Heart Attack," was a major success as Brylee's home in northeast Price was covered in hearts and well wishes by the evening's end. The lady of the evening was a bit worn out by the whole deal, choosing to chill inside for the majority of the affair.

She did however, decide to come outside and check out decorations, giving her stamp of approval to another bringing together of hope and joy in her name.

The Facebook page created in Brylee's name has long been called Brylee in 5, meaning that her family hoped she would be one of the five percent of children who live for more than a year after being diagnosed with this particular tumor.

She made her goal, but that hasn't made the recent decision to bring her home for hospice care any easier for her family or the community that has grown to love her.

Since her diagnosis, Brylee was able to take part in the Children and the Earth Foundation program. The mission of the foundation is simply to provide special opportunities for children with terminal conditions.

The "bucket list" put together by Children and the Earth for Brylee included helping Brylee to "feed the elephants," and experience she got to have at Hogle Zoo in 2013 and was planning again this year.

The list also including sledding, riding the Polar Express and go to the circus, among many others.

"I know some of these activities could make her sick but because of where we are with her treatment and what the doctors have told us, if we have the chance to make family memories and make her happy, me and my husband think it's worth the risk," said Lara during a 2013 interview.

Olson received a special surprise to kick off her bucket list run as mascots from around Utah converged on her home in northeast Price just to say hello and wish Brylee luck.

Visiting Price in September of last year were Willie the Wolverine from Utah Valley University, Sasquatch from Timpanogos Harley Davidson, Grizzbee from the Utah Grizzlies' Hockey, Felix the Falcon from the Utah Falconz and Kodiac the Bear.

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