Ryleigh Meree Stegall was a happy 3 year old with long brown hair and an infectious smile. In June of 2000, her family received the diagnosis—Acute Lymphocyctic Leukemia. The necessary chemotherapy, radiation, and bone marrow transplants that followed robbed Ryleigh of her beautiful hair, but never took her smile or sweet spirit.
In the fall of 2002, Ryleigh was able to begin kindergarten, but by March 2003 a relapse ended her attendance in public school. For the next four years Ryleigh was home-schooled by her Nana (Dean Stegall). Through walks, science class, and special field trips, Ryleigh developed a love of butterflies.
Ryleigh and her family were surrounded by an outpouring of kindness. From the day she was diagnosed until the day she died, the overwhelming show of love, concern, and generosity was monumental. Ryleigh lost her battle on September 14, 2007. The continuous support during her battle inspired the creation of the Butterfly Foundation in October of 2007.
The purpose of the Butterfly Foundation is to distribute financial assistance to families who have children with life-threatening or life-altering illnesses. As of January of 2017 more than $400,500.00 has been provided to more than 195 families in Wayne County and the surrounding areas.
You can also follow their Facebook event at: https://www.facebook.com/events/186481572093968/