BELLINGHAM - It took her and her brother an hour on the phone to figure it out, but 15-year-old Morgan Henry walked in the Relay for Life on Friday, July 13, in downtown Bellingham.
Morgan is a cancer survivor who was diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia when she was 4, and ever since, she's been participating in Relay for Life, an all-night walk around the downtown library to benefit the American Cancer Society.
This year, though, she had to be in California for a softball tournament. The thought of missing Relay broke her heart, but she and her 12-year-old brother Jonathan came up with a solution: Skype.
"We knew we would do anything to figure it out," Jonathan said. "She told me we were not getting off the phone until we figured it out."
Thankfully, they did. The two used iPads to help her experience the survivor lap of Relay for Life Friday evening, as she watched, thrilled, from California. She got to see the hundreds of people walking, with even more people on the sidelines cheering them on. And she got to see the other purple-shirted survivors walking along with her.
"It means everything," Morgan said over the iPad. "I haven't missed this in 12 years."
Jonathan walked laps with family friend Megan Cole and aunt Rebecca Sparks, both of whom were amazed and excited that technology gave them a way to walk alongside Morgan.
"It's a real tickle to have her here with us," Sparks said.
Cole walked with a picture of Morgan, and carried on her shoulder the purple shirt that signifies Morgan is a survivor. Seeing those shirts can be a blessing for people whose loved ones are still fighting their battle against cancer, a reminder that life really does go on, softball tournaments and all.
"What we love is that even though Morgan can't be here, she's doing what she loves, and that's life," Sparks said of the softball tournament. "She's healthy and she's strong."
Reach ZOE FRALEY at email@example.com or call 756-2803.