CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — It’s been a somber start to the new year for the Vandermark family, who laid little Virginia Rose to rest earlier today, after losing her battle with cancer.
At just 4-years-old, Virginia Rose had been battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia for nine months. She passed away just four days after Christmas.
“Through the pain, there is love. in the sorrow there is grace. with despair, joy can be found. these are the lessons that a four-year-old girl taught the world,” said Virginia Rose’s father Johnathan Vandermark, as family and friends filled the Southside Church of the Nazarene.
Everyone was asked to wear pink and purple, to say goodbye and honor her young life.
She was diagnosed in April after her parents took her to the hospital for what they thought was a rash. The prognosis was not good.
“We began a crash course education in pediatric AML. It was a week later when we met with Dr. Weedle. Virginia’s AML had shifted to high risk. She has monosomy 7, a mutation of the 7th chromosome,” said Vandermark.
Little Virginia Rose would need a bone marrow transplant but because of her weakened immune system due to chemo therapy, she wasn’t eligible. Her parents were told she’d only have months to live.
The Vandermarks celebrated Christmas every weekend up until the very end. Mason’s Toy Box even donated gifts to the entire family.
Though Virginia Rose’s life was cut short her mother says God had a special purpose for her.
“He used this precious, pure, innocent and beautiful four-year-old girl to draw many back to him. That prayer was answered through the many inbox messages and posts to her page of how Virginia impacted their lives,” said Virginia’s mother Jennifer Vandermark.
Virginia Rose’s family is making sure her legacy lives on.
Instead of flowers, the family is asking for donations to The Virginia Rose AML Foundation. for research and to find a cure.