WHO IS EMILY ROSE
Emily Lauren Rose was a 17 year old loving daughter and sister, popular student, outstanding scholar and athlete, and altogether beautiful young lady who succumbed to a virulent form of leukemia. See "The Hat Ladies Connection" for details as to how she became known to us.
Here is a copy of an article that appeared in The Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly (North Carolina).
EMILY ROSE HONORED BY BUTLER HIGH SCHOOL
Butler High School honored the life of Emily Lauren Rose on February 6 by dedicating the basketball games played that night to her memory, and announcing the establishment of an annual scholarship in honor of her achievements, leadership and service. Emily was a senior cheerleader and honor student at Butler who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia in July 2008. Ironically, Emily was volunteering at Camp Care, a summer camp for children with cancer, located at Lake Lure when she became ill. She passed away December 20 in Charleston after receiving a bone marrow transplant.
Emily ranked in the top 7% of her graduating class, with a 4.22 GPA. She was on schedule to graduate with her class despite being unable to attend school this academic year. She was completing her required course work through the CMS Homebound Program, which enables students who are at home or hospitalized to continue their schooling. Emily’s family received notification that she had gained early acceptance to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unfortunately, the news of her acceptance was not received until after her passing.
Emily was hospitalized for all but approximately 10 days from the date of her diagnosis until her death. During the stays, both at Presbyterian Hemby Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, and at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, she carried her battle with faith, dignity and determination. Countless health care workers at each of the facilities were touched by her grace and strength as she fought to the very end. All through her hospitalization she was just as concerned with those around her as with herself. She continually worried about her family and friends, thanked her caregivers for all things, large and small, that they did for her, and apologized to everyone around her for being sick and needing their care.
During one of Emily’s rare days at home, she was recognized at the final Butler home football game with the other Senior cheerleaders, and a few days later attended her induction ceremony into the National Honor Society. The cheerleaders and photography class at Butler organized a team that walked in Emily’s honor at the Curesearch Walk on November 15, which raised money for cancer research. Friends of the family created purple bracelets with Emily’s name and favorite Bible verse. Approximately 800 of these bracelets were sold or given away. Many who loved Emily continue to wear them today. The cheerleaders also, in coordination with Threshold Church, organized a fundraiser at the Siskey YMCA that night featuring the local band Lucky Five, to support Emily’s medical costs. As the end neared, the students at Butler held a prayer vigil at the rock, and a memorial service there after her death.
The FFA at Butler has planted a tree in her memory, and a ceremony will be held later this month to officially dedicate it to her. Tentative plans have been made for the Butler baseball team to hold to a ceremony in her honor when the season begins. There is also an effort to name a hybrid rose after her, with a portion of the proceeds of all sales of the rose going to the ASCEND Foundation in Charleston, which supports cancer research and patients. Over $1700.00 was raised for the scholarship at the games alone, plus previous and continuing donations.
Emily’s dad, Steve Rose of Concord, spoke for both himself and the rest of her family, when he said that the support and remembrances from Butler and the Matthews community “bowled us over”. Her mother Amy McKelvey, and stepfather Mark, of Matthews, also are amazed and humbled by the outpouring of the love and care from all those who knew her, and even many who didn’t. “We’ve been given things we didn’t even know we needed from people we didn’t even know,” said Amy. “All through her illness, we know that we have been blessed by so many people in so many ways.”
Why all this for just one young lady who went through what many others also endure? Perhaps Kim Cousar, the baseball coach at Butler said it best at Emily’s memorial service. “As a teacher, you go through your career hoping that you impact the students that pass through your class. Sometimes, if you are extremely lucky, you get a student who impacts you and your life, and makes you better. That was Emily.”
“Emily was special,” said Amy. “And she had no idea that she was. She thought she was just average, nothing special. And that is exactly what made her what she was.”
Emily’s biggest fear was that the people at Butler would forget her. As evidenced by all the things that were done, and are still being done, she had nothing to fear.
Nothing at all.
A short video was shown at her memorial service and has been posted on Youtube.
Emily Rose Initiative