CORVALLIS, Ore. – A Corvallis child whose story touched hearts across the nation when her family was featured on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” died last week after being diagnosed with pneumonia.
Jenessa Nicole “Boey” Byers, 8, died Friday at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland.
She had a rare form of childhood cancer that causes brain tumors.
While battling tumors, pain, weakness and depression, Boey reached out to others, taking stuffed toys to other Doernbecher Children’s Hospital patients and lobbying Congress to pass a “Conquer Childhood Cancer Act,” which would increase funding for the treatment, prevention and cure of childhood cancer.
“If we really stop and think about it, the impact that she has had in the last two years is more significant than most of us would have if we lived to 100,” said Pastor Russ Stiverson of the Corvallis Nazarene Church, where the Byers family are members of the congregation.
Boey was recovering from surgeries – one to remove a brain tumor and one to repair a fractured hip – when the pneumonia was detected, according to the Corvallis Gazette-Times.
The Corvallis community rallied around the girl.
With the help of thousands of local volunteers and homebuilders, the “Extreme Makeover” crew demolished the family’s home and built them a new one in seven days this summer.
The new home offered offering Boey a sterile environment to help keep her healthy, unlike the Byerses’ old home, which had been infiltrated by dampness and mold.
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