THE CASSI TICHY MEMORIAL FUND
you are a symphony of stardust and you were born to shine. ~ tyler kent white
This is the third birthday without Cassi’s physical presence, and though my grief is constant, I know that her spirit of light and love continues to shine ever so brightly.
My heart aches from this separation, and my arms long to wrap her in a warm birthday hug on this very special #21!
But memories are all that I have now…
Birthdays have truly been a special time in our family. Probably we doted on Cassi the most because she was the youngest and had the special date of New Year’s Eve. Our family tradition is to celebrate exactly at the “official” time of birth, and since Cassi and her older sister and brother were each born in the morning, we always had a breakfast party.
For Cassi’s birthday #18 (her last earthly one), the celebrating began on the evening before. We had a fancy dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant, followed by a sleep over (minus the sleep! LOL!) with several of her “artsy” friends.
Cassi’s #1 and #18 (first and last) birthdays...
Breakfast started early, with a waffle bar that offered numerous toppings, and sides of eggs, bacon, a variety of juices, coffee and creamers. Yummm! The house was filled to standing room only, with friends and family (many came in their PJ’s) from various parts of California and Europe. The delicious food, contagious laughter, presents, picture taking, and tangible expressions of love truly contributed to this beautiful memory!
Oh, yes, I can remember it all, but mostly I still see her in that overstuffed chair by the Christmas tree, hands cradling the exotic fruit and single candle (another tradition for Cassi) as we sang exactly at the moment of her birth, her happy smile reflected by candlelight.
I did not know it then, but that would be the very last birthday with her (and even in the years since her death, I still go through this love-filled tradition for my Baby Girl)!
Later that evening we gathered at our dear cousin’s home to bring in 2018 with more food, games, and festivities.
That afternoon, I had baked her favorite rainbow cake with 7-minute frosting, something she was not expecting. I will forever cherish the memory of when I walked out of the kitchen, 18 candles flickering on top, to start the birthday song that everyone joined me in singing. Her face just lit up with such a beautiful, happy smile! And even though the cake wasn’t the best (tech problems), her look of joy and genuine surprise filled my heart with so much love and gratitude!
It was the best moment…and oh, how I’d give anything for more of those!!!
At age 15, Cassi noticed a mysterious pain in her left hip, which impacted her mobility. She appeared healthy and was a tennis athlete at school, so initially the children’s ortho specialist misdiagnosed it as a sciatic problem. Four months later, when a golf-sized growth appeared on her left shoulder, surgery was scheduled and she was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma. The cancer was discovered in her left hip (origin site), throughout her lungs, as well as the shoulder tumor.
Sadly, Cassi’s odds of beating ES were very poor due to the initial misdiagnosis and the fast growth of the tumors, the age (teens) when the metastasized cancer was discovered, and outdated chemo drugs for treatment.
Shortly after graduating from high school in May 2017, the cancer returned with a vengeance, and nothing could stop it from consuming every bone and organ, except her heart. She died early Sunday morning on 20/May/2018, at her father’s home in East Hemet.
It remains the worst day of my life…I was not ready!
For me, witnessing everything she went through, and how she suffered, as well as having no answer to the “why Cassi?” question, contributes to a deep grief that I doubt will ever fully heal!
Amidst the pain, however, I remain in awe, and am so very proud, of my precious daughter and how she fought to live the last 32 months of her life with such a loving, courageous, and quiet spirit that inspired so many! But....my Heart still HURTS!
I will miss and love Cassi, Always and Forever!
In moving forward, my goal is to find and connect with other Ewing Sarcoma families! I am so grateful to Chiara and her mom, Sandra, for responding to my call. This family is the inspiration I need to keep fighting for a cure to this horrible disease that killed our beautiful Cassi.
No one should suffer like she did, nor end up becoming just another tragic statistic.
Will you join us in promoting awareness of this “orphan cancer,” by saying its name — Ewing Sarcoma — and whenever possible, giving generously to help further ongoing research? Although Cassi wasn’t given this chance, I sincerely believe that our combined care and efforts will genuinely make a difference, for current and future cancer patients.
Thank you for reading this…and for supporting Wings for Ewing Sarcoma by donating to Cassi’s 21st Birthday Fundraiser!
Best wishes for Health, Peace, Love, and Blessings in 2021! ellen
Born on the last day of 1999, my Millennium baby, Cassiopeia Grace, came into this world as a healthy, big and strong (nearly 10 lbs), and deeply loved child.
The youngest of three, she brought sunshine wherever she went, and by her teens, anyone who met Cassi felt inspired and touched by her kindness, friendship, and artistic talents (a gift first noticed at age 2! For her entire life, she rarely went anywhere without her sketchpad. This dedication resulted in a unique drawing style and the production of amazing artwork. Of course, family and friends were huge fans, but before her death, she had nearly 3,000 followers on Instagram! Many of her creative pieces can still be viewed there: @celestialcitrus)
the Cassi Tichy Memorial Fund
to help us find a Cure!
My beloved Cassi and her grandfather (my dad), who was waiting for her with open arms. That they are together is wonderful, yet bittersweet, as both died too soon!
Cassi’s artwork was often used to make buttons. This is her final one, representing the colors of other cancers, as well as the yellow heart, for Ewing Sarcoma. Her words of Hope, Love, and Courage are an encouraging message for each of us! #shinebrightcassi
HELP US TO REMEMBER CASSI FOREVER