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Our Familes / Family Stories

The Otterman Family

Our little girl Simone was diagnosed at 10.5 months old with infant leukemia. This is a very rare (about 60-70 cases a year) form of leukemia with a poor prognosis. Despite her age and prognosis our little girl was a fighter. She handled hospitalization, chemotherapy and procedures like a champ and always had a smile on her face. She could always be counted on to bring a smile to every nurse, doctor and patient on our oncology floor. At 26 months old, after almost 16 months of fighting, she  passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. Our little girl did not die from her cancer, she was cancer free when she passed. She actually died from complications and infection that are side effects of cancer. We, as a family are struggling horribly now. We had a very rough 16 months of being separated as a family as one parent stayed inpatient with Simone and the other had to be home for Jade, our 7 year old. It was extremely tough on us all. Especially Jade, who was often not allowed to come onto the oncology floor to visit her little sister. But now, with Simone passing, we are all just heartbroken, empty and questioning everything we ever believed in. And little Jade doesn't understand what happened to her little sissy and her best friend. We desperately hope to be able to attend this retreat to help us heal as a family, bond as a family and find ways to honor and remember our little Simone. She was the strongest, happiest and most inspiring little girl you could ever imagine. You can help support their travel expenses to Rett's Roost this summer here: Cancer Families Fly Free