KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A high school junior who beat cancer three times died from COVID-19 complications.
Aspen Deke’s family said the 17-year-old died Saturday evening in the arms of her mom and dad. They thanked everyone for prayers, love and support.
At the age of four, Aspen was diagnosed with the Philadelphia chromosome positive form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. At the time she was given a dire prognosis.
In November she was diagnosed with COVID-19.
Aspen went through four years of chemo and a bone marrow transplant, but her parents said COVID-19 was much worse than cancer.
“At least with cancer, as bad as it sounds and it is scary, but there’s a lot that you know about it. They can say, ‘This is how bad it is, this is what we are going to do. This is what we expect.’ But with this everything is unknown,” Eric Deke told FOX4 last week.
Deke was admitted to Children’s Mercy Hospital almost two weeks before her favorite holiday, Christmas, and has been in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit since New Year’s Eve. Most of that time was been spent intubated on a ventilator.
Both her friends and parents said Aspen loved to bake cakes and cupcakes for birthdays and holidays, and planned months in advance buying gifts for her parents, brothers and friends at her high school and others she met during cancer treatments at Children’s Mercy.