Shayla was born on February 12, 1991, and passed away on December 11, 2008. She is the daughter of Michael and Renee, and the older sister of Sadie. Shayla suffered from osteosarcoma – a rare bone cancer. “No matter how challenging her circumstances, she found the strength to endure it all – cancer included,” says her mother. “Her tolerance of everything is absolutely inspiring.”
Her parents will never forget having to tell their daughter about her cancer diagnosis. “When we approached her to tell her the news, it was the hardest thing we ever had to do as parents. We were crying, and our Shay just looked at us and said, with her genuine strength, that she wasn’t sure why we needed to be upset just yet. ‘Let’s just get to Seattle and get to the bottom of this,’ she said. She used that persistence and determination throughout her journey with this disease. When she was told that she needed to consider her quality of life once her cancer was established as inoperable and nonresponsive to chemo, she told her nurse that one of her goals was to walk. Her nurse told her that she would have to work really hard, and she replied that she was ready. ‘Ready’ is a true word to describe Shayla.”
The family would like to thank Children’s Hospital and the Shayla Holwegner Fund at Washington Mutual Bank for their support.