Violet is only four years old, but she’s already beaten cancer.Violet’s journey hasn’t been easy, especially when infections would land her in the hospital for over a week. “Those times were really scary,” says her mother, Shenay. “We prayed through it all.’
A little girl as brave as Violet deserves something special. And SPIRIT 105.3 helped make that happen. We partnered with Violet’s favorite singer, Brandon Heath … to give her a surprise she’ll never forget!
Violet was just 6 months old when doctors diagnosed her with retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer. 90% of her left eye was a tumor.
Treatments required that a port-a-cath be surgically implanted into her tiny chest, and it was accessed by a large needle. Every 4 weeks, infant Violet received three types of chemotherapy and went under anesthesia for exams and scans.
Watching the chemo’s effects was difficult for Violet’s mom. “You see all the color go out of their face,” Shenay says. “She got real pale. She’d get real sick. But she handled it so amazingly well. Everything she went through, my husband and I were just amazed by her. Jesus gave her strength.’
As baby Violet spent hours in the hospital—needles stuck in her chest—and she would listen to music on her parents’ phones. “It would be a huge part of her therapy,” Shenay says. “That’s when her love for Brandon Heath’s music started.’
Violet only wanted to listen to Brandon Heath. ‘She knew the pictures of Brandon’s album cover,” Shenay laughs.
“She’d play them over and over again. It was the cutest thing.’ To this day, every day, Violet only wants to listen to his music.
When Brandon and SPIRIT 105.3 heard about Violet, we joined together to plan something special. At Scotts Bar & Grill in Edmonds, Brandon surprised Violet for lunch—and an impromptu song performance just for her!
Pretending to be a waiter, Brandon approached Violet’s table. Instantly, her face lit up. “I recognized him wight away!’ Violet tells us. ‘And he singed to me!”
“They handed him his guitar,” Shenay says. “He came around and he sang ‘No Turning Back’ for her. It was so sweet. She was just so, completely happy.’
During lunch, Brandon and Violet colored together. She sat on his lap. He cut her food when she needed help.
‘She kept saying, ‘Brandon Heaff, Brandon Heaff!’” Shenay remembers. “He goes, ‘Violet, you can call me Brandon, because we’re friends now.’ Now she’s been on the phone, telling everyone that he’s her friend.”
Today, Violet still needs regular trips to Seattle Children’s Hospital to make sure her cancer hasn’t come back. ‘Her last one was on Christmas Eve—we were in the hospital all day.’
Since 2012, Violet and Shenay have been putting together Blessing Bundles: care packages filled with gifts and encouragement for other kids with cancer.
Violet often asks her mom to pray for the kids. She knows the power of prayer. “Jesus healed me,” Violet tells us. “He healed me very good.’