Even though buses arrive every day at Liberty Early Elementary School in Decatur Township, one ride means more to special young passenger and her family.
“It's about a celebration of life,” said Kacy Parker, whose 2-year-old Ava is fighting a rare and deadly disease.
"When we found out, last Monday, that our days are truly numbered with her, I wanted to give her what she truly wanted."
At 21 months, Ava Parker was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. She has undergone chemotherapy multiple times and had a tumor removed from her head. The treatment has left her blind in one eye and partially deaf. She was in remission for two months when last week came news she only has a few weeks to live. Despite the news, Ava’s mom feels joy, knowing her daughter gets to be a “big girl,” riding a school bus.
"There's no words,” said Kacy. “I literally have no words for the amount of joy we have...that we're able to do this for her. It's a light in a dark place for her."
Kacy still smiles to make sure, that amid her pain and discomfort, her daughter bears a grin, too.
“I have to remind myself a hundred times a day to smile,” said Kacy. “'Cause it's so hard when you get the news that we have to get out of bed...to take care of your children, to smile."
Ava’s grandmother has taken note of her Kacy’s optimistic outlook.
"She fights every day sometimes to have a smile...but she still finds one,” offered Christie Parker.
Christie keeps a positive attitude, and from her granddaughter’s fight, has learned to take nothing for granted.
"I used to try to keep a real tidy house and now it's just not so much importance to that, the small things anymore,” said Christie. “If you have time to spend with family, go spend time with family and don't worry about cutting the grass."
Now every day is about celebrating a little girl's life.
Video the story from our sister station, WTHR: http://www.wthr.com/video?clipId=9644335&autostart=true