Esther Earl was a spunky, energetic, creative individual who's life was unfortunately cut short two years ago due to metastasized papillary thyroid cancer. She would have been 18 the other day. She loved to read and was a big Harry Potter fan. Esther became an online presence where she developed numerous close friendships, uploaded quirky videos, and began a burgeoning involvement in social justice issues. In every way she lived out the values of her namesake, the biblical Queen Esther, who was beautiful and full of grace like a "Star". In 16 years she packed a lot of living and loving into her life. Even though I never got the opportunity to meet her in person, Esther's life and death strike home with me. Her story brings me to a place where I can contemplate my mortality and realize my place in a bitter picture. She was a normal nerdy girl, a sister, a daughter, a fangirl... there is something truly beautiful about just that. Esther was a normal girl, but her existence matters. She reminds us of two things: that everyone is ephemeral... so love while you can, and everyone matters so make sure they know you love them
. The “This Star Won't Go out Foundation” tswgo.org/
was created to honor her memory by financially assisting families struggling through the journey of a child living with cancer. If you are interested in donating or just want to know more details about Esther's story, their site would be the place to go.