In recent weeks, the Moshannon Valley has been electric with hope, positive energy and prayer for a little girl fighting cancer. We have celebrated every tiny step shes taken back to being a normal first-grader the way another community might follow a sports team.
This week, the week of Memorial Day, it seems appropriate to remember that not every child who fights, not everyone who has people in her corner, wins, but that those children still remain our angel heroes.
For instance, take Brittany Mock.
I met Brittany in 2001. She was a happy, energetic little girl with no concept of the word shy. She adored her older sisters and would talk about them non-stop. She had an obsession with pop star Aaron Carter, and had magazines covered with pictures of him. And she had leukemia.
In 2002, her fight ended. Her familys did not. Last year, Brittany should have graduated with her class. Instead, her family received a posthumous diploma for the little girl who never got to walk across the stage. For her family, the real graduation was the benefit concert they initiated last year. It becomes an annual event this year with Saturdays second Brittany Mock Memorial Concert, in cooperation with the Angel Project.
The Angel Project is the fundraising effort Brittanys sisters, Lisa Mock and Darla Podliski, began to find money to support the families of people battling life-threatening illnesses. They know just how much those fights can cost, for the patients as well as the family. Spending a month out of work while living in hospital waiting rooms is hard on the soul and the bank account, and Brittanys family wants to ease that burden where they can.
So on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., at the Wagon Wheel Amphitheater just off Route 350 outside Philipsburg, people will gather to hear music, to shop with vendors, to celebrate life, and to donate money to help others, all in the name of a little girl who would have loved to be in the middle of it all. She might be gone, but her name and her heart have definitely not been forgotten.
Lori Falce writes weekly about the Rush Township/Philipsburg area. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.