After a week of heated debates about race, politics, religion, and sexuality on social media sites, comes the story of a little girl who inspired thousands of people to come together and leave their beliefs behind. Fox News reported on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013 that on Saturday night, the 400 block of Chestnut Street in West Reading, PA., was closed off to traffic and parking, as almost 10,000 people came together to sing Christmas carols in front of the home of Delaney Brown, a terminally ill little girl.
In May 2013, Delaney 'Laney' Brown, then 7-years-old, was diagnosed with acute myeloids leukemia (AML) with monosomy 7. Delaney's family created the website 'Team Laney' as well as a Facebook page to show support and offer prayers for the entire Brown family. As she battled the rare disease, her family posted "Laney updates" to the page which quickly became a support community for family, friends and strangers encouraging this brave little girl.
On Dec. 17, after an eight month emotional roller coaster ride, Delaney's parents Jeremiah and Jennifer Brown received the worst news of their lives. Their little girl had 70 percent cancer cells in her blood and was given a couple of weeks, maybe days to live.
On Friday, Dec. 20, Delaney's 8th birthday, she went home with her family, but not before stopping to cut down their Christmas tree. Delaney's parents said they would try and let their little girl have as much fun as she could handle until "God decides he needed another beautiful angel up in heaven."
Delaney had a bucket list and because of social media some of the items on her list were fulfilled. She had originally asked the Make-A-Wish Foundation to go on a Disney cruise, but that wasn't possible due to her condition. She then asked to meet Taylor Swift; according to the "Team Laney" Facebook page, Swift connected with Delaney on Friday night via Facetime.
Relay For Life of Western Berks organized "Christmas Caroling for Laney" event that took place on Saturday night outside of her home. Some supporters rearranged holiday travel plans to be there for Delaney Brown. Because of Delaney there was a renewed hope in humanity, as total strangers came together to sing for one hour.
There were tears of sadness for Delaney Brown and her family, just as there were tears of joy that one little girl could bring thousands together as one. As the carolers sang Silent Night, Jingle Bells and Happy Birthday, Delaney was inside with her family. A picture of Delaney with two thumbs up and with the caption, "I can hear you now!!! Love You!" was posted to Facebook.
Delaney Brown's story has gone viral and she is receiving support from people all over the world including Spain, Italy, and Afghanistan.
The organizers of Christmas Caroling For Laney are now "respectfully asking that the event is over, that the family be left alone in their private moments with Laney so they may enjoy their time together.
Anyone who would like to make a donation to the Brown family to help offset the accumulating bills while Delaney continues to battle Leukemia, go HERE.