SUGARLOAF TOWNSHIP -- A candlelight vigil was held to remember a little girl who recently lost her battle to pediatric cancer.
Audrianna Bartol, 6, died on February 15, but she touched the lives of many students at Penn State Hazleton.
Holding candles and flowers, a group of students, family and friends gathered around the Nittany Lion statue at Penn State Hazleton, to remember Audrianna, a little girl from Hazleton who touched all their lives during her own short one.
“She always had a smile on her face. When she was out with people, she always smiled, she always had a good time,” said James Bartol, Audrianna’s father.
Audrianna died of pediatric cancer on February 15 after a four-year battle.
Students at PSU Hazleton met Audrianna through THON, the student based fundraiser that raises money to fight childhood cancer.
“Even though everything that she was going through she was so strong, she taught me to be strong and to be strong for her,” said James Bartol.
Tragically it was at this year’s THON that these students learned Audrianna lost that fight.
She passed away 15 minutes before the kick-off of the 48 hour event, held at the main campus in State College.
“I had a pin of her and to be told that she passed on as I stood up to cancer. I just bawled my eyes out, but I said Audrianna would want me to be strong this weekend,” said Megan McGee, president of the campus’ student government association.
“We found out the first hour, maybe two hours into it and it kind of was a way to sum up the weekend, like what we’re really there for,” said sophomore Mike Bailey.
Many said Audrianna brought much joy with her.
Audrianna’s grandparents wore Mickey Mouse ears Audrianna bought them when she visited Disney World.
“She lived live to the fullest and there wasn’t another kid out there that could bring the happiness out as she could,” said Audrianna’s grandfather, John Kasarda.
Finally, flowers were laid at the lion’s statue and candles were raised for a final farewell.