OVERLAND PARK, Kan.-- Allie Fisher was a three-year-old who can teach us all about toughness and sweetness.
"She had painful tests and lots of sticks and she never complained," said her mother, Kelly Fisher.
Her father said she was always overly polite to everybody.
"If she had to have multiple needles in her, she'd say 'thank you' at the end," said her father, Kyle Fisher.
All those needles and tests couldnt save Allie. She died in June, just 85 days after her mom found her in bed suffering a seizure. Tests revealed swelling on her brain, but what was causing it?
The Fishers hoped it was an autoimmune disease or a virus. In the end, there was only one diagnosis left: cancer. It was a very rare brain cancer called gliomatosis cerebri. The cancer is very difficult to diagnose because it doesn't form a mass. Its cells are widespread in the brain.
"You kinda ask yourself out of all the things in the world that could happen, why this? You know, a cancer that's so rare it has no treatment," said Kyle.
The Fishers know there should be effective treatments for that and other brain cancers.
"I think how Kyle and I cope with not having Allie with us every day -- is what can we be doing to honor her and help others," said Kelly.
The Fishers have found a way. They're taking part in Head for the Cure, the annual 5K to raise money for brain cancer research. It's this Sunday, August 25, at Corporate Woods. The Fishers asked friends and family if they'd like to join them. So far, 160 have signed up for Team Little Owl. Allie didn't like to go to bed, and she loved owls.
"So we would call her little owl. She loved to stretch out her arms and pretend she was soaring," said Kelly.
On Sunday, Allie's memory will carry her loved ones, and their efforts will carry others closer to cures.
Head for the Cure supports the Brain Tumor Trials Collaborative. KU Cancer Center is a new member of the collaborative.