Julia Caoilainn Adams passed away Sunday, March 15, 2020 at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She was three years old. She battled a very rare and aggressive form of childhood bone/brain cancer for 1.5 years.
Before Julia was diagnosed, she was a normal, energetic one year old who loved eating Peppermint Patties, cuddling with her daddy, watching cartoons, and crawling all over her new baby brother.
After her diagnosis, Julia experienced many complications (surgeries, infections, stroke, tracheostomy) while her amazing medical team fought to give her every chance at life. In January of 2019, the cancer wrapped around her brainstem and put her into coma with a 0% chance of survival. Her parents were told Julia had just days to live and planned her funeral, but also pushed for treatment despite no hope.
A plea for prayers on social media went viral, and over 150,000 people watched Julia come out of coma through her mother’s nightly updates. Julia beat every odd. The cancer shrunk, she regained her ability to move, she re-learned to communicate despite her trach; and at her best, she learned to control her iPad (better than most adults) and even sit up unsupported. During the spring and summer of 2019, the world following Julia witnessed a true miracle.
Despite being bedridden and enduring months of intense chemo, Julia was a happy, sassy two-year-old. She fell in love with Peppa Pig. She shared the most beautiful bald-headed smiles every day, but the person who held her heart was always her daddy (though brother Gabriel was a close second). From her hospital bed, she learned to color, she started playing pretend, and she snuggled and watched cartoons with her cousins. She showed the world how a toddler fights cancer.
Unfortunately, during the fall of 2019, after graduating from intensive care and preparing for home rehabilitation, her cancer stopped responding to chemo. The growth was immediate and aggressive, and Julia once again declined quickly. The staff at CHOP put every effort into giving Julia her second miracle, but nothing could slow the rapidly advancing cancer. She passed peacefully a few months later with her mother and father at her side.
She is survived by her father, Reed Adams, her mother, Amy Largent, and her younger brother Gabriel Adams; as well as five aunts and uncles who adore her: aunt Charlene Adams, uncle Jonathan Adams, aunt Laura Largent, uncle Nick Largent, and aunt Karen Largent, and her two beloved cousins, Kinley and Joshua Adams. She is predeceased by her loving grandfather, Bradley Largent (who lost his fight to cancer just the day before Julia was diagnosed). She continues to be loved and missed by “Julia’s Army” around the world.
Despite spending two out of her three birthdays in a hospital, Julia and her fight had a major impact. Her story, including all her nightly updates starting October 30th 2018, as well as her lasting legacy, can be read on her website: www.juliaadamscancerfund.org
Services and Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, in honor of Julia’s brave fight, please always donate to childhood cancer research whenever the opportunity arises. Currently, childhood cancer research only receives 4% of federal funding, and these foundations rely almost entirely on private donations. Research has made amazing strides in curing childhood cancer … but there is a long farther to go. If everyone keeps donating, eventually no other child will have to die to cancer. Please also remember to give to your local Children’s Hospital – toys, games, crafts, and your time. Two wonderful organizations for your consideration are The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (the hospital that so wonderfully cared for Julia) P.O. Box 781352 Philadelphia, PA 19178 and The Chordoma Foundation (the foundation researching her specific cancer) PO Box 2127, Durham, NC 27702.
Arrangements by DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home, Inc. of West Chester, PA 610-696-1181; www.DellaFH.com
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