Layla’s Army mourns as Windsor girl dies following cancer battle

Breadcrumb Trail links

Windsor cancer patient Layla Girard, 12, is shown in a photo provided by her family in August 2019. Windsor cancer patient Layla Girard, 12, is shown in a photo provided by her family in August 2019. Photo by Courtesy of Chris Girard /Windsor Star

Article content

Layla Girard, 2007-2019

Advertisement 2

This advertisement has not been loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

The community rallied behind Layla Girard as she fought through her battle with cancer, but Monday she “gained her wings” at the age of 12.

Layla’s family regularly shared updates throughout her brave battle with the Facebook group Layla’s Army. With more than 1,400 members, people shared their support for the young girl and her family through posts of good wishes, songs, and photos of encouraging messages, rainbows and people in shirts that read “Layla is my Hero.”

By clicking on the sign up button you consent to receive the above newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. You may unsubscribe any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails. Postmedia Network Inc | 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4 | 416-383-2300

Article content

Her mother, Dawn Marchand, posted to the group Monday that Layla had “gained her wings” that afternoon. Layla had been placed in Hospice care last month.

“Heaven just received the most beautiful angel … fly high Layla,” one of the many posts to the group read.

Advertisement 3

This advertisement has not been loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

In mid-October of 2018, Layla was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma — an aggressive and highly malignant form of cancer that affects children. She immediately began chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Layla’s aunt Lisa Ann LaChance launched a GoFundMe campaign around that time entitled “Fighting for Layla” to help the Girard and Marchand families. The campaign effort raised $25,652.

Layla’s family also joined a campaign to advocate for more federal funding to go toward pediatric cancer research — leading to a FaceTime conversation with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his Windsor visit last month.

Marchand shared a photo of the conversation with Layla’s Army and a post where he said hello to Layla and spoke with Marchand regarding the allocation of cancer research funds.

Advertisement 4

This advertisement has not been loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Layla’s fight was filled with ups and downs. She had appeared to be making progress but started to experience severe headaches, the Star previously reported. A mass that had grown in her brain was discovered and had to be removed.

The family later received news that her condition had taken a turn for the worse. In an update posted on the GoFundMe page Aug. 28, Marchand reported that Layla’s tumor had grown back to nearly the same size as the one that had been removed.

Through posts shared on Facebook, it was clear Layla had a love for sloths which were referred to as her spirit animal, as well as her pets who she’s seen cuddling with in photos shared with the group.

“That’s Layla. She can be quiet and soft. But she’s fierce when she needs to be,” Marchand told the Star in an August interview.

Advertisement 5

This advertisement has not been loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

She also described her daughter as a “delicate soul” and “the most empathetic person on the planet.”

“She’s the sweetest, most caring individual you can imagine,” her father, Chris Girard, said at the time. “Always putting others before herself. Just a happy-go-lucky kid.”

Visitation for Layla is at Windsor Chapel South Chapel, 3048 Dougall Ave., on Wednesday from 2 to 5 pm and 7 to 9 pm A Celebration of Life takes place in the chapel on Thursday at 10 am Interment to follow at Heavenly Rest Cemetery. Donations to the TLC Foundation in memory of Layla would be greatly appreciated by the family. Online condolences and cherished memories may be shared with the family at windsorchapel.com.

[email protected]

Share this article on your social network

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encouraging all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Comments are closed.