CORVALLIS, Ore. - An 8-year-old girl who lost her battle with childhood cancer last week when she contracted pneumonia was laid to rest on Thursday.
The family of Jenessa "Boey" Byers said their daughter fought until the very end. They called her a warrior and said they hope her story will serve as an inspiration for others.
Music filled the sanctuary of sorrow in Corvallis as hundreds of people filed into the Church of the Nazarene to say goodbye to the young girl.
"We have lost a loved one. We have lost a friend. We have lost one of God's children," said Senior Pastor Russell Stiverson.
Teddy bears, pictures and brightly colored flowers adorned the girl's little pink casket.
"She was a warrior through and through," said her dad, Rob Byers.
He said even in her toughest moments, his girl had compassion for other sick children and even used her spare change to buy them teddy bears.
"She actually had the ability to care for somebody down the hall while she was in agony," he said.
That agony also led to a passion to ask Senator Ron Wyden to co-sponsor a bill. She was also known for bringing Extreme Makeover Home Edition to Corvallis last summer.
Her parents said Boey's passion to achieve will live on.
"Like Boey would say - believe it can happen, never give up, never give up," said her mom, Rachel Byers.