By Annette Tomlinson
Sponsor Relations Coordinator
The children at Tupelo Children’s Mansion received a larger- than- life gift this year for Christmas in honor of the memory of Victoria Lillian Barron, of Abilene, Texas. It came in the form of 25 beautifully decorated wreaths, hundreds of yards of garland, and dozens of beautiful bows. According to Ken Burton, Vice President of TCM, the campus has never looked better for this festive season.
At two years old, Victoria was taken to the emergency room due to a stomach virus, but her parents were heart stricken to find that she was immediately diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a form a cancer that would forever change their lives. She lived the following year in and out of Cook Children’s Hospital where she received a stem cell transplant. She miraculously went into remission for a short while. The Barrons’s were devastated when they soon learned that the cancer had relapsed.
Victoria was her Daddy’s beautiful angel. She was a social butterfly who loved life and lived it to the fullest. Though she suffered for several years, she never complained and would encourage the elderly patients when she would go in for treatments. She would share her snacks and reassure them that they were going to be alright.
At one point, Victoria’s parents discussed taking her for treatment in San Francisco, but Victoria told them she didn’t want to go because she didn’t feel she would live much longer and that she wanted to see the “Real Jesus”. In the last few months of Victoria’s life, she was able to attend twelve weeks of Kindergarten. Across the street from her school, was a beautiful cemetery. As she pointed to the cemetery, she told her Mommy that she was going to be alright living over there because she knew that she could watch her friends play and that she would be with Jesus.
Victoria did go on to see Jesus on January 16, 2009, but her life, though short-lived, has continued to bring hope to hurting hearts everywhere, especially to children at TCM this Christmas.