I am saddened to inform our readers that Connor Carvajal died today at 12pm at Rady Children's Hospital after an incredible three year battle with cancer (neuroblastoma). He was six years old and would have turned seven in July. His mother, Linda Wagner, is pictured with Connor on the right. His brother, Gage, is a ninth grader at CHS.
This hits very close to home since Connor was in the same first grade class (Mrs. Farrell) as my son this year. I've only seen him a few times due to the many health issues kept him at home or in the hospital, but I believe that Connor is the bravest kid, bravest person I have met.
Village Elementary and CUSD have done a great job informing Coronado families about Connor and providing counselors and practical advice for sharing his passing with our children.
The community is invited to celebrate Connor's life:
Saturday, June 2nd: Viewing from 5-9pm
Sunday, June 3rd: Memorial Service at 3pm (bring a new toy to be given to the children at Rady Children's Hospital)
Location: St. Paul's United Methodist Church located at 700 D Avenue
One of the last memories that my son got to share with Connor was having a marshmallow fight in his hospital room just a few weeks ago on May 1st.In lieu of flowers the family is accepting donations to offset the cost of Connor's care. Donations can be made via any Wells Fargo bank to Linda F. Cooper Wagner (account #7684551182). They are also asking for people attending the memorial service to bring a new toy to be given to the children at Rady Children's Hospital.
I know that many of you reading this may not know Connor or his family, but he was part of our Coronado community and their family could really use your support. Many of us know how blessed we are to live in Coronado, to have healthy kids, to not have to battle like Connor did. If you can give any amount, the family would really benefit from it.
Connor, thank you for being a friend to my son. Thank you for showing me how to be brave. Thank you for helping me to not sweat the small stuff and appreciate every moment I have with my loved ones.
The below CaringBridge update has been reprinted with permission from it's author, Darcy Leasure, a family friend and resident of Coronado. It was written shortly after Connor passed away:
John 14:1-4 (NIV)
14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Dear Friends and Family,
Our brave, strong, amazing little Connor has finally allowed our Father in Heaven to bring him home.
In the last couple of weeks, I have often thought of this particular journal entry. It has brought tears to my eyes in the past and it does now as I write. This young man has touched so many individuals. he has blessed each of us with his laughter, smiles and playful personality. Amidst the battle for his life, he remained joyous and happy and loving. He loved his mom and brother, he loved his dad, his aunts and uncles, his doctors, nurses, teachers, friends, and neighbors. We weep now, we will miss him terribly, we will never understand the "why" and his absence will leave a hole in our hearts and in this community. However, we can find joy in knowing that his little body no longer suffers, he is without pain and is able to do everything he couldn't in his earthly life. The hole left behind can only be filled with God's overflowing love. We can welcome God's love as we celebrate the life of our precious Connor. Celebrate the amazing blessing he was and still is today.
Connor's final hours were beautiful. Yesterday, he was more responsive than the days before. He was without pain, his face and body language were relaxed and peaceful. He couldn't speak, but he was able to understand and respond to the loving words and touches of those who love him so much. Even though his gestures were physically small, the meaning of his love for his family poured through the smallest movement. He amazed us all. Doctors, nurses and all who came to see him, were stunned by his strength and his will to rally and give these comforting memories to those who he loved so much.
He passed today at noon. The final breaths were gentle and he was at ease. He drifted from this world while holding his mother's hand. Nurse Kristen, Jen and I were privileged to be a part of this small circle, all holding onto one another and to Connor. His mom was able to hold her precious child and we allowed her some time to be with him. We returned and his face, angelic and beautiful, had a small smile with a hint of a Connor personality. Like he was telling us. "Oh yeah... I'm going to be just fine." We imagine him dancing and running and playing, cancer free and pain free, joyous and laughing. He will forever be with us. We are honored to hold him in our hearts. We will allow his memory to be one of joy and celebration. We can be blessed by knowing him and thankful that his presence will help us be mindful of our own blessings and joys.
Thank you Connor. It has been an honor and a privilege to know you. You are an incredible kid in so many ways. You will be missed, but you will forever be here in our hearts. Keep smiling. We'll see you again one day. We love you!
Credit: Connor Carvajal's CaringBridge Website
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