Before Passing, This Amazing Little Girl Left Incredible Notes For Her Family


This is a story of tragedy, sadness, resilience, beauty, and the selfless acts of a young girl who was going through a terrible illness. Elena Desserich did not allow her suffering to dampen her spirits or allow her to forget what’s truly beautiful about life.

You will need some tissue to get through this story, but beware there is light at the end of the tunnel. While most will begin to break down on #8, you will have a smile on your face when you read #4.

This amazing story should go to inspire us all and show us how much beauty remains in this world.

The Desserich Family

This is the Desserich family: Keith, Gracie, Elena, and Brooke. When Elena was five, she was like most girls of her age. She loved the color pink, she loved to draw, and she loved dressing up. However, her family would soon learn that Elena was wise beyond her years.

This is the story of Elena Desserich.

She Was A Normal Little Girl

Growing up in Ohio, Elena was quite intelligent. She loved to read and was extremely creative. Elena would often write her name backwards because she liked the way it looked. She had aspirations at a young age to become a teacher later in life.

Everyone loved Elena and weren’t ready for the tragic news that was coming…

The Terrible News

Shortly before Elena turned six, her parents received some devastating news. Brooke and Keith were not ready to have their world turned upside down, but that’s what happened when a doctor told them of Elena’s diagnosis…

Sadly, Elena was suffering from an incurable brain cancer and was only given several months to live.

Elena Figured Out She Was Sick

While Brook and Keith went to great lengths to keep the news from their daughters, Elena began to figure out how sick she was. As her treatments became more frequent and intense, she would quickly figure out that she didn’t have much longer to live.

However, not even that realization would keep Elena down…

Elena Kept Her Spirits High

Radiation therapy began to greatly restrict Elena’s physical capabilities, leaving her unable to speak and wheelchair bound. Yet, Elena would not allow her situation to keep her spirits down. Elena began communicating with her family by using a piece of paper and a felt-tip pen.

Elena wouldn’t stop there either…

Elena’s Thoughtful Idea

Elena probably didn’t know how little time she had left. Still, she came up with an amazingly thoughtful idea that would cheer up her family after she was gone. Elena began drawing little pictures and creating notes addressing them to each member of her family.

Surprisingly, Elena didn’t give the notes directly to them…

She Hid Notes Around The House

Instead, the thoughtful Elena began to hide the notes around her family home. Somehow Elena was able to find scrap paper, printer paper, colored paper, and post-it notes to write her secret messages.

Elena didn’t even tell her sister Gracie about her plan. Elena probably wasn’t even sure her family would ever find the messages scattered around the house.

The Messages Within

Most of the notes contained drawings of hearts and messages of love for her family members. Her notes to Gracie were to encourage her sister for life ahead, letting her know that everything was going to be alright.

In almost every message Elena wrote, “I love you” which holds a place in the thoughts of her close-knit family until this very day.

Elena’s Passing

On August 11, 2007, Elena sadly passed away, succumbing to her illness. Since Elena did not tell anyone about her secret messages, they stayed hidden away for several years. In one memorable note, the selfless Elena apologized to her father for being sick.

Elena Desserich was truly one of a kind.

They Began Finding Them Years Later

Brooke and Keith began finding little notes several days after Elena’s passing, yet they didn’t think there was any sort of message behind them and that perhaps Elena just had forgotten about them after her treatment began.

However, the notes began popping up around the family home and they soon realized that they were deliberately placed.

Brooke, Keith, and Gracie began finding notes everywhere in their home. After a rigorous hunt, they decided to stop directly searching for them. They began seeing the notes as “hugs” from Elena and would cherish each and every one of them.

Brooke and Keith eventually published the notes and a journal they were keeping for Gracie, calling it Notes Left Behind. Elena’s legacy is now known by millions and proceeds from the book help the cancer foundation her family set up to honor their daughter.

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