Victoria Enmon was an amazing little girl. She demonstrated love and compassion to others around her as much as she possibly could. Whether being thrown into the air at cheer leading practice or battling cancer, she never stopped supporting the people whose lives she touched. In the words of her parents, Vic and Jo Ellen Enmon, she flew.
Today would have been Victoria's 27th birthday.
"She wasn't afraid of heights. In fact, she wasn't really afraid of anything." - Jo Ellen Enmon
At a little over 11 years old, Victoria was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and it would be something she fought for the rest of her life. While she battled her condition, undergoing multiple transplants and treatments, she never let it break her spirits. Even while sick, Extra Life's founder, Jeromy "Doc" Adams recalls her as "the kind of kid you could hear coming before long before she got to your soundproof studio."
It also never stopped her from giving all of herself over to helping people without hesitation. At Camp Periwinkle, a summer camp for children with cancer, one of her doctors holds onto the memory of her helping another girl suffering from both cystic fibrosis and cancer. That little girl needed extra help to get ready to experience camp each day, and throughout that week Victoria came to help. Victoria made sure that her fellow camper would get to have an unforgettable camp experience. No one asked her to, she just did it.
As she entered what would be her final stay in a hospital, Jeromy Adams began working with Sarcastic Gamer to get her some games to help her pass the time during her treatments. The overwhelming response consisted of more games than her family could handle. Of course, Victoria started giving them away to other kids in the hospital. That impulse to give everything to those around her, that was just the kind of person she was.
"You know, here she is, lying up in bed tubes connected to her. She didn't go and cry about it or bemoan her situation. She went around to all these other kids to make them feel better. I think that's really the legacy of her." - Vic Enmon
From 11 years old until 15 years old, Victoria never stopped fighting, not even when she contracted a fungal infection due to her compromised immune system. She passed away on January 21, 2008, finally resting from her battle against leukemia, failed transplants, and infections. But that's not the end of her story.
To keep her spirit alive and make sure that everyone knows how amazing she was, Jeromy Adams started Extra Life that same year. On october 13, 2008, over 1,200 people showed up to support children like Victoria. It has grown every year since and has now raised over $50 million to help sick and injured kids across the United States and Canada.
One of Victoria's last wishes was to see Christmas lights. The final time he saw her, Victoria, her parents, and Jeromy all stepped outside to see the lights glow in the dark. "We were only outside for about 10 minutes. There wasn't a lot of talking. We just looked at lights," Jeromy remembers.
Victoria isn't gone. She's become like those lights, shining brightly in the dark, touching more lives with comfort and love with each passing year. She's able to do that through all of us working to keep that fearless and caring spirit alive.
Happy birthday Victoria. We're doing our best.
For The Kids