Written by her mother, Bonnie Hunt
Cashmere was first diagnosed on October 8, 2013, and she underwent treatment until February 2016. She then relapsed in July and received a bone marrow transplant on December 31, 2016. She passed away on April 8, 2017.
It was heartbreaking watching her fight for her life—chemotherapy, losing all her hair, losing weight, radiation, throwing up blood and bloody stools... to have to watch while she had CPR to bring her back that left her chest bruised and then CPR to bring her back six times, only to watch as her body gave out.
The whole time, I had faith that she was going to make it, so it was crushing to lose Cashmere. But I never once said, “Why my daughter?” because, “Why any child?” I never felt hard feelings towards families we knew who had children that made it. I know my daughter is their angel. I had a second family of all the children fighting for their lives alongside her. They were my saving grace and will forever remain my family.
I would encourage other families going through childhood cancer to reach out to other families with children going through the same fight. I was scared, but a child’s father befriended me. His son, who had leukemia, became best friends with Cashmere. We are still friends, and I'm glad to say that Josh is healthy and doing great.
In April of 2016, a year before Cashmere lost her life, we got to go on our last vacation because of Lighthouse. My daughter had so much fun and made friends with so many. I could never repay that debt to Lighthouse. They made her feel more special than they will ever know.
The Hunt family joined us on our annual Sunrise Retreat this month, a bereavement experience offering rest, restoration, hope, and joy for families who have lost a child to cancer. In looking ahead to their retreat, Cashmere’s mother, Bonnie, shares their hopes for this time: “I look forward to meeting other families going through the same pain who can understand better than anyone can. Our stories might be different, but we know each other’s pain.”
During the month of September, we will be sharing stories written by some of the families who will be attending our Sunrise Retreat this month. We hope you will join us in praying for these families who have endured unimaginable loss, that God will use the week away with their family and Lighthouse volunteers to bring healing and hope.
Our fundraising goal for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is $30,000, because that’s what it takes to put on a Sunrise Retreat. From meals and gifts to Parent’s Night Out, sibling activities and nights of remembrance, every single dollar we receive in September is going to be invested into providing a restorative experience for families who have lost their child to cancer. When it comes to our growing Sunrise Retreat program, more funding means more families served. Whether you can give $1, $100 or $1,000, please join us in honoring the memories of the children we’ve lost by providing support for the families who will never forget them. Visit this page to learn more or donate.