On the first day of her sophomore year of high school, Alicia Rose was admitted to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Adenocarcinoma with Unknown Primary Site. At 16 years old, she found herself fighting for her life. For 13 months, Alicia was in and out of the hospital undergoing tests, enduring chemotherapy, procedures, surgeries and combating infection. During the year, she insisted on being homeschooled to keep up with her studies, got her driver’s license, and was able to perform in the high school musical. She never dreamed that this would be her last year of life.
While at the hospital, she wanted to live her teenage life as normal as possible. Alicia found there was little for teenagers to escape the rigors of their treatment or a place for her to leave her room. She saw that other teens her age, simply remained in their rooms watching T.V. and just trying to disappear.
Alicia Rose DiNatale passed on at the age of 17, having lost her battle. But her spirit and will to live inspired those around her to look at their lives and appreciate the good in people, and in life itself. Alicia left this world a better place for having been in it because everyone she met came away with a gift. A gift to see life in new ways, to know what it means to truly live life, and to be strong no matter what life hands you. To read more of her story and some of her personal journal entries, click here.
"May we always remember every day that we were together
Remember all of the memories we share, ready for anything that we could dare
You and I will always be best friends; cherish each moment now till the rest
How much time we spend together really doesn’t matter as it’s you and me.
I will always love you deep in my heart, seeing as our friendship was good from the start
Telling each other secrets in the night, moping after we got in a fight
After all of these years we’ve had, still you’re my best friend
And I’m very glad."
- Alicia Rose DiNatale