"She is — and always has been — the smiliest, happiest kid you’ve ever met," the heartbroken mother said.
Delaney Krings, 4, of Pewaukee, Wisconsin, is getting ready to celebrate her fifth birthday on December 16. Sadly, her parents are aware that it might be her last. Delaney received a terminal brain cancer diagnosis on October 31, 2022. Her parents were informed by doctors at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee that she probably had six to eight weeks to live. "With her specific type of cancer, it is very diffuse," Delaney's mom, Heather Krings, 43, tells TODAY. There is no cure. "It has already invaded so many integral parts of her brain, radiation would cause more damage and more side effects."
When Delaney's prognosis was shared with her family and friends, a card drive was organized to mark her milestone birthday. Locally, and eventually, globally, word of the story spread. A family friend, Sharon Tomlinson, spearheaded the card drive. "Her office has volunteered to be our post office box. We are getting hundreds and hundreds." Tomlinson of Shorewest Realtors said, "It's her fifth birthday on Dec. 16, so what better way than putting a little sunshine back in her life than sending her birthday cards," according to CBS 58.
Delaney enjoys looking at her cards but grows tired after four or five at a time, according to Krings. "It’s a little overwhelming. She’s got so much love pouring in,” Krings says. "Cards that play music are a favorite." In addition to cards, Delaney has also gotten Amazon shipments and handmade gifts like blankets, bracelets, and ornaments.
Delaney has gotten cards from all around the world. Pewaukee native and NFL star JJ Watt were also thinking of Delaney. "Happy (early) 5th Birthday Delaney!" the football player tweeted a photo of him holding a homemade card. "From Arizona back home to Pewaukee, I hope you have a fantastic birthday surrounded by family and friends!"
The family created a public group too on Facebook, to spread love for Delaney. "The outpouring of love has left me speechless and those of you who know me personally know that my favorite thing to do is talk. But truly what a blessing you have all been to Delaney and her family," a post by a family friend read.
She also posted that Delaney has received a birthday card from Antarctic research scientists. "It would take months to receive an actual card from Antarctica, so they emailed it to us," Krings tells TODAY.
The mother is heartbroken. “Day by day we lose a little bit more. She knows she has an 'owie' on her head (and) that she's probably going to start feeling a little worse. But how do you tell a 4-year-old? It rips your heart out,” Krings shared. She added, "She is — and always has been — the smiliest, happiest kid you’ve ever met. I have asked our Lord and Savior to let me trade places with her so she can continue sharing the love."
4-year-old Delaney Krings was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer at the end of October. Cards for her 5th birthday on December 16 are pouring in from all over the world.— Kendall Keys (@KendallKeysTV) December 8, 2022
"She's being called elsewhere to finish her angel work," her mom told me. pic.twitter.com/hGg9BZKOlE
Eight weeks will have passed since Delaney's diagnosis on Christmas Day. "The biggest problem that our family is having is: why her?" Krings says. "Why take such a source of light and love out of this world?"
"Going from a little over a month ago, having three healthy, bouncing, bubbly kids, to knowing you're going to have to plan a funeral with a tiny coffin and you're going to have to say goodbye to that source of joy and light and love that you only had a short time," said Krings.
"She was put on this earth for a reason, she's been an angel to so many, and sometimes angels have to leave a little early," said Tomlinson who has been on a mission to get as many cards to Delaney and to make sure that the family gets some respite and positivity as well.
An update from Delaney’s mother:— Abbey Taylor (@abbeytaylornews) December 14, 2022
“Home and napping ❤️❤️❤️❤️ only been home a couple of hours and had a visit from our home nurses. Going well so far.”
The Krings are excited to share the cards, gifts and well wishes from all of those supporting her. #DelaneyKrings pic.twitter.com/J5leepzaYL
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Heather Writt Krings