In loving memory of Cassandra 'Cassie' Marie Hendon.

This is Cassie's story: The Game Of Life
Cassie was a true athlete all of her life, but she only got to play sports until she was 12 years old.Cassie played softball,basketball,vollyball and soccer. She was very good, and always made the varsity teams. We encouraged Cassie to play sports for two reasons. The first reason was a selfish one, we truly loved to watch her play. Ball was a big part of our busy lives and we were happy. The second reason, Cassie was learning valuable lessons that we hoped would help her through the years as she grew up. Lessons like determination ,discipline, competivness ,self confidence and dignity, how to become a team played and how to win and lose gracefully. Cassie had her future planned out and had every reason to believe that she would achieve her goal, but it was not to be. On September 22,1997,just two weeks before Cassie's 12th birthday, our lives changed forever. Cassie had been having pain around her knee for some time and a MRI had been ordered to find out what was wrong. Then we heard the most horrendous words a family ever has to hear, the doctor said "Cassie has cancer".What? Cancer? How can that be, she has always been healthy ,she is so active and full of life? Surely they were wrong ,but no they weren’t. A biopsy confirmed the diagnoses, Osteogenic Sarcoma or bone cancer. We were about to find out just how valuable the lessons of sports were to Cassie. Even though her illness would stop her from ever playing competitive sports again, she remained a true athlete all of her life. Our world was spinning out of control. We needed God and our faith now more than ever. We learned to be part of a team with God as out coach. The first questionable thing God did was, send us to Memphis,TN. On September 26,1997 we walked through the doors of St.Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the best children's cancer hospital in the world. We soon realized God knew exactly what He was doing. We made the long drive many many times because we all knew that Cassie had the best team mates, base coaches, umpires and equipment to help us win this game. We were facing a very evil and powerful opponent CANCER. This would be the most difficult game Cassie ever had to play. Cassie was determined and ready to win this season. The Lord had been preparing her all of her life. Cassie did win, she beat cancer 6 times, with God, her tremendously awesome coach, her athletic spirit, her large growing group of fans and her team mates. Cassie was always a graceful winner. She was always very quiet about her triumphs, not wanting to make someone else feel bad. There were always friends and other patients who were not winning. Cassie faced every challenge with her usual winning attitude. We had a love/hate relationship with chemotherapy. It was the only the only thing that could save her life but it made her sick and could have killed her. Cassie had so much chemotherapy that her body could not handle any more and the chemo was stopped. Cassie had 6 major surgeries while she was sick. After surgery she would quietly, without their knowledge, compete against other patients while recovering. She disciplined herself to be the first and best while doing very painful and difficult physical therapy. Cassie wanted to be home but was most comfortable when we were in Memphis, which we were most of the time. We usually stayed at the Ronald McDonald house. This house is a wonderful, inviting place to be when you can't go home. We grew to love St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Cassie felt safe there. The staff and other patients became like family to us. Cassie lived 3 years and 8 months after her original diagnoses, with a very good quality of life. We believe our team mates at St. Jude made that possible. We had more time with Cassie because of the dedicated people of St. Jude. On March 5,2001,we were told that Cassie's game of life would soon be over. With courageous dignity, Cassie accepted this. Being a Christian she was not afraid to die. Cassie knew where she was going. She lived everyday to the fullest right up to the day she died. Cassie’s body was tired and broken from the reappearing cancer and the poison we call chemotherapy. When the time came, Cassie, in a very peaceful, graceful and dignified way closed her eyes, took her last breath and left this world for a far better one. Cassie was a true athlete, she knew the game was over and she didn't see any point in hanging around. You see Cassie left us on the very day that the doctors told us she had 3 to 7 days to live. Cassie did not want to lay in a bed and have us watch and wait for her to die. After a long painful struggle and many disappointments Cassie received her reward for her difficult game of life. Cassie's battle is over and just and we knew she would, Cassie Won her trophy is Heaven.
She Lives With Her Lord!
In loving memory of Cassandra Marie Hendon
Sunrise: October 13,1985 Sunset: May 25,2001
15 years,7 months and 12 days