Kylie Myers was born on February 24th, 2002. From her earliest days she was called Smiley Kylie because a smile was never far from her face. The youngest of four sisters, Kylie became the family peacemaker with an uncanny knack for settling any dispute. She lit up any room with her infectious joy and always made it her goal to seek out those in need of a smile, which she happily shared.
We joke that we stole some other family’s first child because Kylie had all typical tendencies of an eldest child. She was a perfectionist, eager to please, and a diligent worker. Everywhere she went she passed out her “Velcro hugs.” Kylie grew up singing and dancing. At the age of nine, she landed the role of Annie and never looked back. Theatre became her passion and the stage her second home.
Kylie’s knee began to hurt in early 2014. On April 9th she was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer. She started chemotherapy with hope and her signature smile. The chemo treatment Kylie received has changed little in forty years. It took a harsh toll on her body. Her weight dropped to a state of malnourishment due to nausea and constant mouth sores. Though there were bad days, Kylie developed a unique ability to steal joy even from cancer and fought back with a smile and positive attitude. She made pictures and videos to share her joy with other fighters and her SmileyForKylie followers.
For a time, the chemo did its job and beat back the cancer. But it could never kill it completely. Toward the end of the radiation cycle that should have marked the end of her treatment, new tumors were discovered and her cancer was deemed incurable by standard treatment. Before she could enter clinical trials, she died on February 13th, 2015.
Kylie became a believer at an early age. In fact, she prayed to receive Christ at the age of seven in her parents’ bed – the very same bed where she left this world to meet her Savior. When she learned to write, she combined her love of music with her faith and filled journals full of worship songs.
She displayed that faith throughout her cancer treatment. When told of her diagnosis, she simply said, “God must have a really big, great plan for me.” Kylie often sought ways to encourage others, both children in treatment and people who reached out to her through social media. After we created goals for Smiley for Kylie, she constantly pointed us back to goal number one, “To make God smile.”
Kylie lived every minute with love and a godly joy that is unique in this world. Her faith was never more evident than in the hospital when we told her that her body was giving up to the cancer. She rubbed her daddy’s beard with one hand and her mother’s hair with the other, telling us that she felt a “strange peace” about dying. Her last requests to her family were that they take care of her kitten and work to cure childhood cancer.