Community Remembers Ava Nichols

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UPDATE 3/14/2012

She fought with it all her life, but in the end six- year-old Ava Nichols lost her battle against an malignant brain tumor.

Ava Nichols was four years old when she was diagnosed with an inoperable, malignant brain tumor.

Once the community learned about her diagnosis they swung into action.

For two years, the Washington County community held prayer vigils, benefits, fundraisers, and did everything they could to support both Ava and her family.

Ava lost her battle Tuesday, passing away at the age of six.

Wednesday night the community held one more candle light vigil for the little girl.

Friends of the Nichols family say, in her short life, Ava taught an entire community about living each day to it's fullest.

"I think the community has learned to really focus on what's important, to not get caught up in petty things, to not get caught up in gossip," explains Erin Roberts. "We've all learned a little bit from Ava about how to be better neighbors to each other and how to support each other and take everyday as the gift that it is. "

Roberts says the Nichols family is doing well considering the heartache they are feeling and that the support of the community has made a world of difference to them and their daughter.
UPDATE: 3/13/2012

Six-year-old Ava Nicholas from Waterford lost her battle with cancer Tuesday.

There will be a candlelight vigil in her honor Wednesday at Dodge Park at 8 p.m.
April 2010

Ava Nichols and her parents are down at St. Jude's Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

Meanwhile community here in the mid-Ohio valley is holding out hope for her recovery.

Ava Nichols is the motivation behind the vigil at Dodge Park, in Beverly, Ohio.

The 4-year-old, diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor nearly three weeks ago, is one of nine children who will undergo experimental treatment.

Erin Roberts, a close family friend says, "its just your worst nightmare and you don't want to outlive your children. You want to see them grow up and see them become the people you know they can be. "

Roberts is a mother of three, a close friend of Ava's parents Traci and David Nichols, and a familiar face at the daily vigil.

She says they have anywhere from 20 to 60 people a night.

The Dodge Park group is not the only Ava support outlet, people have turned out in large numbers and showed their support for Ava with signs and a Facebook page.

Danielle Stevens, the "Love and Prayers for Miss Ava Nichols" Facebook page creator, says it has reached people clear across the world.

6,000 members joined in the first week and has since grown to over 9,000 members.

The Nichols and their family members have found comfort in the community's faith and say despite the circumstances Ava is in good spirits.

Ava's grandparents, Mark and Nannette Sampson, spoke about their brave little grand daughter, "she has never even complained. That's what amazes me about her, I dare say, I don't think there are a lot of adults who could handle it the way she has."

Roberts says, "we are refusing to give up hope that she will do well with her treatments and that she'll get to grow up and be a normal person, just like us."

The Nichols are awaiting news about Ava's treatment which could start as soon as Tuesday, April 13th and last for about six weeks.

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