Omaha family mourns loss of daughter to rare brain cancer

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 5:25 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - An Omaha couple is mourning the loss of their daughter. Her parents are proud that their daughter went out fighting and helping others.

Three years ago, 17-year-old Anjalie Bartee was starting her senior year at Burke High School. She had a lot of friends and had just signed up for the school’s drill team, and then Anjalie was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer.

“It was hard like a ton of bricks when something you would never expect to hear,” said dad Albert Bartee.

It was a cancer that Albert and Barbara Bartee had never heard of.

“Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. It’s usually in your brain stem but with her, it was in the middle of her brain,” said Barbara.

Doctors put the rest of Anjalie’s time on Earth on a clock, giving her six months to a year to live.

“She did six weeks of chemo and radiation but the tumor actually grew.”

But Anjalie and her family didn’t quit, they signed up for a medical trial to help and find an answer to this fatal disease.

“They got her in the trial in about a month in Michigan and so we had to travel to Michigan for the first six months. It was every three weeks then they made it so she only had to go every nine weeks,” said mom.

The trial bought Anjalie some time, enough time to graduate from Burke High School.

“That was one of her first goals was to graduate, she was very excited when she graduated. She asked me if she could make it to her golden birthday which was 20 and she made that, just made that in June”

The cancer eventually won the fight but Anjalie went on doing all she could to help others. She was only 20 years old.

“There’s a lot of things she did that she didn’t need to do like donating her brain, she’s very giving.”

The family is proud of Anjalie who spend the short time she had left here trying to help others who are fighting the same fatal disease.

“She didn’t let cancer define her. Her walk through her struggle with cancer was very strong and she kept her head held high and she was positive through the whole fight.”

Anjalie’s employer is raising funds to help her family with expenses that the family accrued. You can send donations to the Primrose School of Legacy.

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