ST. CHARLES, MO (KPLR) – It’s the last day of class for students at St. Charles West High School. But on this final day of school, they honored a young girl who left a lasting impression.
“Whether you knew her or not, her battle was an inspiration to all of us,” says student Hannah Andrzejawski.
Blue skies turned purple Thursday morning as family members and friends released balloons in memory of Braelynn French. The three-year-old lost her battle with a rare form of brain cancer on Wednesday.
“There is so much to know about her in those three short years she had,” says Blake French, Braelynn’s aunt. “She was full of life and had a smile that could light up any room.”
“She just touched everyone that she was around,” says Betty Frye, her great grandmother. “People that didn’t even know her would be fascinated with her. She had a specialty about her which was just beautiful.”
This past season, both St. Charles and the St. Charles West High School girls’ basketball teams were inspired by Braelynn. She was their honorary ball girl and the rivals dedicated games and much of their seasons to the three-year-old.
Thursday morning the teammates gathered once more and helped coordinate the release of 700 purple balloons – Braelynn’s favorite color.
“We coordinated it after we found out she passed, and we decided it’d be a great way to let the school and everyone else in the community know. Because she deserves it; because she’s been such an impact on us,” says Natalie Otten.
“She was only three-years-old and she did so much already and it’s just hard to live without her here,” says Andrzejawski.
“There are no words,” says Emma Poindexter. “It’s just inspiring to see everyone come here just for a little girl that inspired the community so much.”
The public is invited to a memorial service for Braelynn at Element Church in Wentzville. More info can be found at PrayForBrae.com.