Holly Humphrey was only on this earth for a few short 15 years, but she definitely made a huge impact on the lives of those around her. Holly was a very curious, energetic, sweet natured little girl. She loved to learn new things and meeting new people. Her favorite activities in her early years were gymnastics, softball, fishing, Girl Scouts, and mini 4-H. She also liked school, especially science and math.
Holly enjoyed giving of her talents to others at an early age. On her own, she made origami nurses hats for her kindergarten classmates for show and tell featuring the letter “n”. She liked helping her family in the kitchen, garden, and workshop. Holly spent her own money on gifts for her family and friends. She was indeed a giving individual, and she was quite a little sponge learning and experiencing as many new things as possible.
Holly’s young life was so full of promise when she suddenly became ill at the end of third grade. She was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia, Philadelpia positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She had to go through many rounds of intense chemotherapy, cranial radiation, total body irradiation, and a bone marrow transplant the year of diagnosis. The years that followed including taking oral chemotherapy daily and a variety of other medications to address the multiple side effects of the invasive life-saving procedures she had endured.
Instead of feeling sorry for herself for all that had been taken away, Holly embraced what she still had to give. She would tell you that the strength to move forward came from the Lord. She openly discussed her faith and certainly lived by it daily. She gave many motivational speeches starting at the age of 12. She always praised the Lord for all of the blessings in her life.
One particular side effect was a low immune system and Holly had to be homeschooled for two years. When she reentered public school as a sixth grader, she thrived and took honor classes. Holly had to give up many of her former activities due to her side effects, but she did not have any difficultly learning and excelling academically.
Holly was very thankful for who helped her. She always had an interest in the medical field, but that interest became intense after her diagnosis. She was very knowledgeable about her condition and medication. She continuously asked her nurses and doctors questions.
At age 12 she put on scrubs and assisted in the delivery of her baby brother. She was the first one, beside the doctor, to see and touch Baby Hayden. After experiencing the miracle of birth, Holly stated many times, “That was the best day of my life.” She also gave her mother insulin shots throughout the pregnancy. As a result of her experiences, at the age of 15 she already had a head start on obtaining a medical degree.
Just weeks before Holly suddenly became ill and experienced septic shock, she was exploring her college options. It was her greatest desire to obtain a medical degree. She was so grateful to be able to attend school, and she took her studies very seriously. In fact, she was ranked third in her freshman class of with a 4.1 GPA.
Two months before Holly’s passing, she applied to be a member of the Washington County Youth Foundation. This letter exemplifies Holly’s giving nature.
April 13, 2016
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Holly Humphrey. I am currently a freshman at Salem High School. I believe that I would be a good member of the Washington County Youth Foundation because I wholeheartedly agree with its mission statement. I have a great desire to give of my time, talents, and treasure to better the lives of youth in my community.
In 2010 at the age of nine I was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia and had to have a bone marrow transplant the same year. I learned early on how important it is for people to help each other. The support I was given from a variety of sources has fueled my desire to give back.
I have been the team leader for Team Humphrey for the past four years, raising money for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. I have also not forgotten all of the support my community has given me. I volunteered last summer at the Washington County Food Bank.
I would be honored to further serve my community as a member of the Washington County Youth Foundation. I realize the importance of fostering growth in our youth, the future leaders of tomorrow. I am particularly interested in the Happily Ever After Project. Instilling a love of reading in our youth is one important way to help them become productive, happy members of society. I am also eager to participate in community clean up days and learning about other youth-directed service projects.
In addition to my desire to help people and make a difference, I would be a good member of the Washington County Youth Foundation because I have a great desire to develop my leadership and decision making skills. These skills will help me now and in the future. I am currently planning on pursuing a degree in the medical field. I am particularly interested in oncology and pharmacy, two areas that definitely require leadership and decision making skills.
Last but not least, I would be a good fit for the Washington County Youth Foundation because I enjoy learning about my community and meeting other people. I believe that we learn best when we share ideas with others. It is also fun to work with friends who have similar goals and interests.
I have lived in Washington County my entire life and I am proud to call this community my home. No matter where my future endeavors lead me, Washington county will always be my home. I care deeply about the people who live here and I want to do my part to ensure that this community will continue to improve. Being a member of the Washington County Youth Foundation is indeed one way I can give back to my community today and help ensure that future generations can grow and thrive in our community.
In light of all that Holly exemplified, it is fitting that her legacy will live on in the form of a scholarship. The scholarship will be given annually to a deserving Salem High School student.
We love Holly and miss her deeply. We regret that she did not get to fulfill so many of her dreams. However, I believe she would be proud to know that others will be continuing her mission by pursuing a career in the medical field.