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Zak Summy and Jessica and Shannon DeFeo will honor the sisters they lost to pediatric cancer during the annual Parkway Run & Walk Sept. 19. Join them at parkwayrun.org.
Zak Summy, Naya’s brother: Naya tried her hardest to get through it. And she didn’t let cancer beat her.
She was always happy. I mean obviously she wasn’t thrilled with what she was going through. But she tried to be as happy as she could be. And as positive going through this as she could have been.
Naya’s mother: Really proud of Zak. He’s always had a big heart. He kept Naya laughing. He always looked out for her best interest.
She knew how much he loved her. And she loved him very much.
Zak Summy, Naya’s brother: I didn’t realize how tough she was. I don’t know if I could have gone through what she went through and have dealt with it in such a great way as she did. She showed determination.
Debbie, Kayla’s mother: I think for me, five minutes don’t pass where I don’t think about Kayla.
Shannon, Kayla’s twin sister: I wish she would have been here. We’ve gone to a few concerts in the last few years and I wish she was there cause she loved music.
Jessica, Kayla’s sister: I think that not knowing what was happening was frustrating because you just don’t know, you don’t understand it. You can’t help at all. You can just be there and you can’t lose hope.
Debbie, Kayla’s mother: I think with loosing Kayla it has definitely bought me and the girls closer. I think we have a very special bond because of what we’ve been through together. My girls are my life and they keep me going. We have a very, I think, good perspective on life. And I try and teach them we don’t sweat the small stuff. That is a silver lining that has come out of this situation is that we know what’s important in life.
Shannon, Kayla’s twin sister: I would say cherish every moment you have with your siblings and make it the best you can be. And it’s OK to be scared. And ti’s okay to have those feelings because it’s just normal.
Debbie, Kayla’s mother: When we went to clinic, Kayla always wore a pink Eagles hat because she had lost all of her hair. And even through those very dark days, she would start giggling and the entire room would start laughing. She had a smile that would light up the room.
Naya’s father: The thing that I think was really very Naya-esque through the entire treatment was she wanted to be a little girl. She wanted to go to school. She wanted to ride her horse. She wanted to have friends over. She made blankets and pillows because that was fun for her. So being a girl is what she, you know, never lost sight of.
Jessica, Kayla’s sister: The Parkway Run is really cool that we can be with so many other people that have, or are experiencing a similar situation that we were in. It just feels so, like we’re all together.
Naya’s father: The Parkway Run represents an opportunity for us to help other children that are going through, you know, some of the terrible things that Naya had to endure.
Shannon, Kayla’s twin sister: Walk for my sister.
Jessica, Kayla’s sister: Run for Kayla.
Zak Summy, Naya’s brother: Run for my sister.
Naya, patient: Speak up for me.
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