Friday, March 28, 2008

Brianna Paige Flanders

Brianna Paige Flanders was granted her angel wings on March 25, 2008, following a courageous battle with brain cancer. Bri passed away peacefully in Boise at home with her parents by her side. Bri was born June 3, 1998, and lived a very memorable nine years. It doesn't seem right for someone with such goodness in her heart to leave us so soon, but those who were touched by her understood that the quality of existence far exceeds the quantity of time in which you live it.

Bri was a beautiful and cheerful girl whose brilliant smile could melt hearts. She shared her warmth and precious laughter wherever she was. She had an amazing heart and soul and she naturally possessed strength, perseverance and the ability to overcome incredible challenges. Her courage led us to believe that each day is a blessing and an opportunity to create lasting memories. She enjoyed time with her family, games, arts and crafts, monkeys, the color pink, dancing and, most of all, her cat Teddy. She loved the mountains and watching wildlife.

Bri began her education at The Children School in Boise during her preschool years and attended Riverstone International School from kindergarten into fourth grade. The faculty, staff, her classmates and their families at both of these organizations embraced Brianna with love. We would especially like to thank everyone who loved and empowered her from the Riverstone community. Their unending support made a huge difference in our lives.

Bri had a special bond with the people of Camp Rainbow Gold. Their love and support inspired her deeply. She was able to attend camp over the last three years and loved to talk about it year round. We would like to thank all the staff and volunteers who make Camp Rainbow Gold the special event that it is; it truly made a difference in her life while facing the many challenges brought on by her illness.

Bri leaves behind her loving parents, William and Tawny, all of her grandparents, many aunts, uncles and cousins, and many members of her extended family too numerous to mention. Words cannot describe the love and inspiration given to Bri from all these family members throughout her lifetime. We thank you so very, very much.

She was blessed with many wonderful doctors, nurses and therapists, who lifted her up during her three-year battle with cancer. Her family would like to thank those that gave her care and love from St. Luke's Hospital, MSTI, Elks Rehab Hospital, Critical Care Systems and St. Luke's Hospice, all in Boise; Primary Children's Hospital and Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City; and many organizations in Seattle including Children's Hospital, the UW Medical Center, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Ronald McDonald House and the Hutch School.

Special thanks go out to the people from Systems Integration at Micron Technology for their support and understanding. We would also like to thank the Make-a-Wish Foundation, their staff and volunteers, for granting a special princess a dream trip to Disney World in Orlando.

There will be a family service in Hailey, Idaho, and a memorial service at the Idaho Botanical Garden on Sunday, March 30, beginning at 2:30 p.m., where all those who were touched by Bri or her family are welcome.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Camp Rainbow Gold in her memory. Camp gave Bri new confidence, strength and most of all, hope. Donations can be made to Camp Rainbow Gold c/o American Cancer Society, 2676 S. Vista Ave., Boise, ID 83705. We know Bri would love more than anything to help support one of the many places that helped her forget about her illness.

It seems some children are born extraordinary and wise because they may only have a short time in this life. Bri has shown faith well beyond her years and courage we are astounded by. She is truly inspirational to us. She had a way of touching people she met in a very special way. She affected most everyone she came in contact with by reminding us to love, laugh, show compassion, and to have hope.

With Bri's passing we remind others that her life is one to be celebrated. Although we will miss her deeply, she has touched lives more than we will ever know.We created wonderful memories and cherish the time we were given with her. Every minute of every day with her was a blessing. Memories of Bri will last forever.

Arrangements are under the care of Wood River Chapel of Hailey.

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