CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Even through their tears, an Oak Ridge family calls on the community to celebrate the life of the daughter they cherished for five years. Abby Jensen passed away Sunday morning in her father's arms after a yearlong battle with a brain tumor.
Maegan and Jon Jensen say it's hard to find someone with more faith and courage than Abigail.
"She always saw the bright side of everything," said Maegan. "She always did everything she could to make someone else smile. She could still be a princess even though these things were happening to her."
Maegan says she knows Abby is celebrating in heaven.
"I think the first thing she did when she got to heaven was dance," said Maegan. "I always think back to the first interview we did when she told me not to cry. I keep hearing that. I keep hearing her say, 'don't you cry mommy.' She would be so mad if we were crying at her service."
The family believes new treatments and an outpouring of prayers bought Abby time. It was a precious year the family says they will never forget, one that brought the birth of the fourth Jensen girl, Sara. They were also able to take a Make a Wish trip to Disney World.
"That was so wonderful," recalls Maegan.
In March, Maegan says a mother's intuition again told her something was wrong. Scans a month later showed the tumor was growing again.
"I was standing in the kitchen at the counter when they called," said Maegan. "They said it's growing and it's growing significantly and spreading to the rest of her brain."
Maegan says she knew Abby would want to keep fighting. They tried another treatment and another surgery. Eventually Maegan says she knew it would be best to let Abby spend her final days at home. She says Abby told her she knew she was on her way to heaven.
"I said you're right baby," said Maegan. "She said it's okay mom,'" remembers Maegan. "I knew she understood."
Maegan says she appreciates the five years God gave her with her daughter. She says Abby taught her and others to live life with purpose no matter what you're handed.
"I know she's in heaven. She's only strengthened our faith and made me want to make sure I live my life in such a way that I will be in heaven with my children again," said Maegan.
A celebration of Abby's life is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. at Ford and Sons in Cape Girardeau.
Meanwhile, the community of Oak Ridge is planning a balloon release Friday evening at 7 p.m. at the ball fields.