A benefit singing Saturday in Pitts Park in Clarkesville turned into a memorial for the young girl who inspired it.
Four-year-old Scarlett LaCount died at her family’s home in Cornelia following a year-long battle with cancer. Her mom, Katie LaCount, shared the sad news of her daughter’s death in a moving social media post on Friday.
“At 4:01 pm, my sweet girl took her last breath on this Earth and is now in heaven with our Lord Jesus!,” Katie wrote. “My heart is broken and I can’t tell everyone that we’re gonna be okay because we’re not, but we know without a shadow of doubt that we’ll see her again!”
Scarlett, whose bright blue eyes and winning smile won over a legion of fans, was diagnosed with stage 5 Wilms’ tumor cancer last July. That type of cancer has a relatively high survival rate, but Scarlett’s body never fully responded to treatment. The cancer continued to spread despite chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. On June 19, Scarlett’s care team at Children’s Hospital Egleston told her family they’d run out of options.
Three weeks ago, on July 13, the bright-eyed, spirited young girl who loved dancing, Mexican food, Chicago’s Pizza, Frozen, and Paw Patrol entered hospice care at home. That’s where she passed away on July 31.
Scarlett’s fans followed her journey through a Facebook page her mother set up called Scarlett Patrol. The name was a nod to Scarlett’s favorite TV show. More than 11,000 people followed the page and were witness to the daily struggles and joys Scarlett and her family faced.
Weeks ago, family supporter and friend, Cheryl Ivester Sumpter, arranged a benefit singing for August 1 to raise money to help the family with medical bills. It was originally conceived as a celebration and, despite Scarlett’s passing, it still was.
The family asked that the event go on, Sumpter says and so they turned the benefit into a Home Going Celebration.
Scarlett’s funeral will be held at 2:00 PM, Wednesday, August 5, at Hillside Memorial Chapel in Clarkesville, GA. Those wishing to leave condolence messages may reach out to the family through Hillside or on the Scarlett Patrol Facebook page.
Katie LaCount thanked those who supported the family throughout her daughter’s illness. “Thank you all for the prayers and for always loving us!,” she wrote. “Please continue to pray for our family as we say goodbye for now.”