I often get chills at sporting events during the singing of the National Anthem. No matter who's belting it out, there's something about being all gathered together and for one moment being united in something bigger than ourselves. A performance by 4-year-old Darla Holloway at Fenway Park in Boston last night, however, provided tears on top of chills on top of sheer tingles up and down the spines of everyone who saw her sing "God Bless America".
You see, Darla isn't just any little 4-year-old girl; she's a 4-year-old fighting acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She took to the field during the seventh inning stretch of the Red Sox game against the Orioles, and she belted out the tune for the thousands of people in the crowd.
Talk about brave, and that little voice is so incredibly sweet. What an amazing girl, and what an amazing gift she gave to everyone who saw her sing and hopefully paused to reflect on what really matters in life and how fleeting it can be.
In an interview before the game, Darla's mom, Sherelle Holloway said singing takes the girl's mind off of her disease, which she's been fighting for about two years now. The performance was part of the family's work The Jimmy Fund, an organization that raises money for adult and pediatric cancer. Red Sox manager, John Farrell told MLB.com. how much of an impact her performance had on the team and the crowd.
You recognize that there are certain situations in every family that you're dealing with some health issue, and to see someone who's dealing with something that you would think is pretty tragic, to have the wherewithal and the composure to sing a song like that, I'm sure everybody in the ballpark was touched, including everybody in our dugout.
While Darla has faced plenty of pain in her short life, the good news is her prognosis is optimistic as it's a treatable kind of leukemia. It won't be an easy road ahead, but the courage and strength she shows will certainly serve her well. Bravo, Darla.
Did this performance move you?
Image via YouTube