By Miriam Raftery
February 15, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--A toddler who captured the hearts of a community has died after a long battle with neuroblastoma cancer. A memorial service was held on Valentine’s Day for Kylie Rowand of Alpine, with hundreds of mourners dressed in pink at Shadow Mountain Church in El Cajon.
During the past year, Alpine residents held fundraisers and prayer vigils, displaying pink ribbons throughout the town to show support for Kylie and her parents, Luke and Bree Rowand. A Facebook page set up for Kylie drew over 100,000 friends.
Born May 11, 2012, Kylie was diagnosed with cancer at 19 months of age and underwent extensive treatments in an effort to save her life, but on February 7, 2015 she passed away in a hospital, ending her painful ordeal and dashing the hopes of all who supported her family’s efforts to save Kylie’s life.
Alpine Sun editor Lori Bledsoe offered these touching words in memory of Kylie:
“It is impossible to know what one’s mission is in life, and some may never discover why hardships befall them. But Kylie will always be a symbol of love and perseverance even through the greatest pain. A shared caring that connected almost 100,000 people came into being, and awareness has grown for the love of this child. Kylie, Alpine will never know what you would have accomplished in a long life, but we know that in your short time here on Earth, you brought a community to their knees.”
Sunday, Feb. 15th was International Childhood Cancer Day. If you like to donate to help Kylie’s family with their medical bills, you can visit www.prayersforkylie.com.