At just 6-years-old, Diamond Marshall has stalwartly endured more than her share of tragedy. Her vivacity inspires not only her father, step-mother and sister, but also her caregivers at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, and the dream-makers at the Children’s Wish Foundation.
On Thursday, Children’s Wish granted this young Calgary girl her wish of meeting a real ‘‘princess’: as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in her city, Diamond -who is named after Princess Diana – will present the Duchess a bouquet of flowers.
Diamond’s challenges began long before she was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer last December, at age 5. When Diamond was just 18-months-old, the life of her mother, Memory, was claimed by the same unforgiving disease.
It’s these devastating experiences that make the realization of Diamond’s wish even more significant.
“We realize she may not have the chance to go to Disneyland where she wants to lunch with Princess Aurora of the fabled story Sleeping Beauty,” Lyall wrote in May, in a letter to the Children’s Wish Foundation.
“Should the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge just happen to swing by for a little visit, it would go a long way for helping her spirits, her surrounding family and friends. She is in awe of Princess Kate’s fairytale-like story,” he wrote.
Diamond also wrote a letter – to the Duchess, from her hospital bed.
“I was named after Princess Diana. My mommy memory is in heaven with her,” she wrote. “I watched you get married from my bed. My favourite princess is Aurora, who is yours? I would really like to meet you. Do you want to meet me too?”
Lyall’s letter tells of the shock, sadness and anger that followed his daughter’s diagnosis of undifferentiated sarcoma last December. He and his wife Danielle had become worried after noticing Diamond’s belly distended. They took her to hospital where an aggressive abdominal tumour was detected, along with several cancerous masses in her lungs.
Before treatment could commence, the tumors began to bleed. Diamond’s life was in immediate danger. She underwent two back-to-back angioplasty surgeries and spent several weeks in hospital recovering, re-learning how to talk, walk and eat all over again.
In the time since, Diamond has returned to school, eager to pick-up a badminton racquet in gym class and show off her favourite outfit – a pink princess dress and cowboy boots. She continues to receive cancer treatment and is scheduled for surgery to have the tumour removed from her abdomen later this summer.
The Children’s Wish Foundation has granted exceptional wishes to more than 17,000 children with life-threatening illnesses since 1984. The AB & NWT Chapter grants 125 wishes a year; granting one wish every three days to a local child.
UPDATE on Diamond…
Posts Tagged ‘Memory Marshall’
Posted in Life, tagged cancer, Children's Make a Wish Foundation, Diamond Marshall, Kate Middleton, Memory Marshall, Prince WIlliam, Royal Visit, undifferentiated sarcoma on July 8, 2011| Leave a Comment »
Posted in Life, NHL, tagged Canadian Cancer Society, cancer, Diamond Marshall, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Face Off Against Cancer, Fundraiser, hockey for the cure, Kate Middleton, Memory Marshall, NHL, Prince WIlliam, Royal Visit, undifferentiated sarcoma, WHL on September 20, 2007| 1 Comment »
Sometimes words cannot express what is in your heart. Memory is the daughter of my dear friend, Marty Jimmy and though Memory is gone, she leaves behind this legacy to help cure cancer. In just one weekend, her family and friends raised nearly $175 000 in her name. Amazing.
Update: The Hockey For The Cure fundraiser was taken on by the Canadian Cancer Society in 2008 and is now an annual event.
UPDATE: Diamond Marshall, daughter of Memory and Lyall, is granted a Royal Wish…