Bailee was a bright and passionate 12-year-old beauty who courageously battled a fast-growing and highly aggressive form of brain cancer known as DIPG. Her personality was vibrant and magnetic, and her light shined so brightly. She was born a little drama queen who blossomed into a dancing queen. The passion and talent she possessed for dance were unrivaled. She began dancing at the age of two and never stopped. She brightened every room she entered and always left with new friends. Above all, Bailee loved her family, especially her big sister, A’lynn.
A couple of weeks prior to her diagnosis in August 2018, Bailee’s family began noticing that her left eye was turning inward, prompting a visit to the emergency room where scans were taken. Two days later, Bailee’s mom received a call from a doctor who told her to take Bailee to the emergency room immediately. Bailee was rushed to a hospital in New Orleans, where doctors revealed that she had DIPG.
Her family was heartbroken by the news. It turned their lives upside down within a matter of seconds. They chose not to tell Bailee the full meaning of her diagnosis. Five days later, they were in Memphis, TN, where Bailee could undergo treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Following 34 rounds of radiation, Bailee began a clinical trial that required her to receive infusions. Within two weeks of receiving her first infusion, Bailee needed to have a shunt placed to drain the fluid building up in her brain. The infusions did not go well, and by the end of March, St. Jude informed her family that they were discontinuing her treatment. Bailee was sent home on hospice.
Knowing there had to be another treatment option available, her mom contacted MD Anderson in Texas to inquire about clinical trials and discovered they had a trial Bailee was eligible to enroll in. They arrived in Texas in early April, and Bailee began the trial. Sadly, she only underwent one infusion cycle before she was sent back home that May on a very mild oral chemotherapy.
Bailee was such a high spirited and strong child, even during her battle. The hope and bravery she displayed gave her family strength. She never once complained and continued waking up every morning with a smile. Despite the changes in her body, she never asked why me and always did as she was told, especially when it came to her medication. She was a trooper, a true warrior.
On May 26, 2019, after Bailee ate breakfast, she motioned for her mom to give her a pen and paper. On the piece of paper, she wrote 911. Later that day, at Our Lake of Lake Hospital, Bailee passed away at the tender age of 12. Bailee’s light and strength will never fade; they will continue to shine bright through those she loved.
During her battle, Bailee united so many people in her community. The dance studio she danced with, help a huge fundraiser for her while she was in Memphis, and the company her mom works for partnered with the American Cancer Society and raised $425,000 that was used for a grant named in her honor, Bailee Bee-Brigade.
"Funding for pediatric brain cancer research is vital. Through the funding of research, a cure will be discovered someday in the near future or, at the very least, an effective treatment option that prolongs life without disrupting the quality of life." - The Becnel Family
Thank you for choosing to donate to The Cure Starts Now Foundation. 100% of this donation, after credit card processing fees, goes directly towards research to find the homerun cure for cancer starting with pediatric brain cancer research.
If you would like to make a donation by mail please send a check to: The Cure Starts Now Foundation; 10280 Chester Road; Cincinnati, OH 45215 and put the child's name in the memo.
The family receives notification of all donations made to this tribute fund automatically.