12-year-old passes after fight with neuroblastoma, family confirms

Positivity, strength and joy . . . Words commonly used to describe Delmarva's own Brooke Mulford. Sadly, the 12-year-old lost her fight with neuroblastoma early Monday morning. She captured the heart of the community with her fight against the aggressive form of cancer.

Brooke was diagnosed in January of 2009. She faced intense treatment, chemotherapy, surgery, stem cell transplants and several rounds of radiation. The Delmarva community rallied around her, raising awareness not just for Brooke, but also the disease. In September of 2009, a major victory, new scans showed no signs of neuroblastoma. And while her treatment was far from over, her spirit remained unbroken, always determined to bring a smile to the face of others.

Unfortunately, neuroblastoma has a high risk of relapse, and that dreaded news came in December of 2012. In a blog post, her mother Amy Mulford wrote, ""This is the journal update that I hoped to never have to give . . .  Brooke's scans confirmed yesterday that she has relapsed with Neuroblastoma. There is no cure for relapsed Neuroblastoma and the treatment plan will be to prolong her life as long as possible . . . A miracle is the only thing that can save my baby girl."

The community again rallying around her, raising money for "Brooke's wishes" so that she could live her life to the fullest. While Brooke went on many adventures, she also began clinical trials in hopes of finding that miracle.

The Brooke Mulford Foundation was created to raise awareness and money to fight and fund research for pediatric cancer and help families on the Delmarva Peninsula. In 2014, Brooke donated some of her toys to open Brooke's Toy Closet at Peninsula Regional Medical Center. Every child that goes to the ER there gets a brand new toy to help entertain them and make their experience a little less scary, plus they get to take it home with them. That same year, Brooke and her mother Amy moved to New Jersey to be closer to Children's hospital of Philadelphia for treatment.

When news came that the end was near, prayers flooded social media, showing the reach one little girl's journey can have and how she will not be soon forgotten. Her mother Amy posted on facebook early Monday morning that Brooke "went from my arms into the arms of Jesus."

By order of Salisbury Mayor Jacob Day, all city flags will be flown at half-mast until further notice in honor of Brooke.

City officials have also scheduled a silent vigil at the fountain in the Salisbury City Park from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Monday. There will be no speakers and no agenda for this gathering.

"Citizens are encouraged to attend and reflect or pray as they see fit, silently, in honor and support of Brooke, her family, and all of those who suffer the heartbreak of pediatric cancer. The fountain in the park will remain illuminated in gold until further notice," a press release sent Monday morning reads.

Our thoughts are with the Mulford family and the community that loved her so. We will update this story with any funeral arrangements as they become available.

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