04 Jan
  • By Shawnee Doherty
  • Cause in

Seeing Hollis through his final days…

If the quality of a life lived is more important than quantity, Hollis won the battle. He lived life to the fullest up until the last 12 hours of his life. He was a lover of Jesus and life, a giver of hugs and smiles and the absolute light of my life. Therefore, it’s important to us that you know the details of how quickly this disease took him from us. Unlike most DIPG patients, his only real symptoms were headaches and vomiting. That’s what caused us to take him to the hospital to be diagnosed on March 29th, 2016. The steroids given to him at diagnosis quickly relieved those symptoms and he didn’t struggle with them again until December 28th.   For 9 months he lived an active, normal 7 year old boyish life, free of the usual symptoms DIPG causes. He went to school, played sports, swam and danced his legs silly.

The morning of December 28th Shane and I were talking about the scheduled MRI on January 3rd and how we were not too worried as Hollis still was not showing signs of progression. Shane and Hollis were set to leave for his 8th round of immunotherapy in Germany on January 5th and the following week stop in London to visit with Doctors about a new treatment taking place there. We figured we still had some time until the cancer started to grow and we would have a plan of action ready for that time. I guess we spoke to soon on the 28th because that night he had the first headache since March 29th. He was in pain and said, “I think it’s my tumor coming back! Please pray for me!” I rubbed his head, prayed for him and comforted him to sleep while silently praying this wasn’t the case but knowing it likely was.

The next morning, December 29th, he was in good spirits and free of pain so we decided to proceed with plans to travel to Flagstaff for a couple days to play in the snow. He didn’t seem in much pain that day or night so we were still quite hopeful the headache was a rare occurrence. On Friday, the 30th, we sled, met friends for lunch and that evening went to a friends home for dinner. Hollis had the chance to fire off a ton of rounds from a BB gun, along with a pellet gun, sling shot and bow and arrow. After dinner however, another headache set in and during the night he began vomiting. This caused us to worry enough to cut the trip short and return to Phoenix the next morning.

On the 31st he spent the day playing xbox with his brother and watching movies. But, his behavior was odd enough that we decided to get an emergency MRI through the hospital on the 1st instead of the 3rd. We wanted to have enough time to take action, if necessary, so he would be ready for the upcoming trip. He was his usual happy, talkative self as he walked into the ER for the procedure. The MRI revealed our greatest fear, that the cancer had spread quickly to his ventricles so we started him on steroids to relieve the inflammation and the ER started our discharge paperwork. We thought we would be home in time for dinner and prepare for the next round of battle against DIPG.

However, before we could be discharged, his head started hurting again and vomiting. So, they decided to admit him overnight until the steroids could really take effect. This picture is the last one I took of Hollis alive. At 8:42 PM while watching cartoons he said, “Take a picture of my cool IV for my friend Cameron Cozzi to see.” I thought this was odd but obliged and am glad I did. It is now my visual proof of how DIPG took his life in the next 24 hours. You can see him smiling and he could still walk and move normally at this time.

We went to sleep but around midnight I heard him start to vomit. I slept most of the night in his bead rubbing his head and comforting him as the pain increased and vomiting continued. They had given him some morphine in the ER and decided around 6:00 am to give another small dose to relieve pain. He went into a deep sleep and started having trouble breathing, became frantic and hallucinating at times too. This is when my real fear set in and I realized things were changing quickly. Shane and I calmed Hollis down and he fell into a comatose state. We were moved to PICU so he could be monitored more intensely.

After about 5 hours he started to wake up and speak clearly. Our family began arriving and he was aware of this. He opened his eyes and said “Hi Grandpa”, “I’m scared” or “I want some food!”. At one point he looked at his uncle and said clearly, “I want to live!” So, we thought the scariest time was behind us and the steroids were doing their job.

At 6:15 pm he looked at his Grandmother (GraMur) and said, “I just want to feel normal again.” A few minutes later our Pastor, David Stockton and his brother, Peter, arrived to pray with us over Hollis. As we started praying he became agitated, red and sweaty. His vital signs began to drop and the doctors rushed in. It became clear he would soon be leaving this earth so Shane and I rushed to his side. With both of his eyes wide open, we told him how much we loved him and enjoyed every minute we got to spend with him on earth. I told him, “If you see Jesus and your sister Savanna and want to join them, say ‘Yo guys here I come’ and run to them. “ He died soon after me saying this and was pronounced as such at 7:25 pm.

I could go on at greater length about this experience as it is traumatizing to relive. We knew one day DIPG would claim his life but we thought we would have more time with him. We thought there would be more time for treatment. We thought we’d have more than a few minutes to prepare for his departure to Heaven. We thought we’d have time to prepare him for this too. In the end, we ran out of time.

It is important that you know he did not decline the way most DIPG patients do. He was asymptomatic for almost 9 months. He had headaches for a few days before we took him to ER. He was talking, walking and drinking 12 hours before he passed away. He was clearly saying that he wanted to feel normal and live within an hour of his death. I will never know why he was taken so fast. It’s difficult to process that he left us as soon as we started to pray. Maybe the gates of Heaven opened up when we prayed and he saw Jesus and his sister, Savanna. Heaven probably looked like a better option than earth, so he ran there, as only Hollis could.


How my heart breaks for you. I didn’t know Hollis really well, but could tell he was such a special boy. I pray for God’s strength and peace for you and Shane and Rhett. If there is ever anything I can do please let me know. I will be praying and praying for you.

Beautifully written…I am so sorry for your pain..as a mom
Dad. Family…we all loved Hollis and had never met him face to face…you are amazing for sharing him with us…he will always be an amazing courageous young hero!

I know it’s heartbreaking to live through the loss of your dear sweet boy. The fact that he left so quickly tells me that you had prepared him just fine for that moment. I have a feeling he wouldn’t want anyone to be sad over his passing. Thank you for sharing him with us over the past nine months. He was an inspiration – so are you. Much love and prayers.

Thank you for sharing your journey with us and trusting us with your story, your pain, amd your heart. As I read about his final moments, I hear the praise song asking how will we greet Jesus when we meet him- bow down, run, dance…I smile thinking of Hollis running to meet his Maker, His Lord, His Jesus. It doesn’t make any sense that this sweet boy left so soon….he was blessed with ian incredibly faithful and loving and strong family. Praying for you all and for all of us to hold tight to the lessons of love learned thanks to Hollis and your family.

Thank you for sharing. Your faith in our Lord drives our faith deeper and that is a gift from Hollis.

“We shall overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the power of our testimony.” Keep testifying to the truth of Jesus and how He has defeated death. Hollis lives with Jesus and so shall all who believe to the end.

God bless you momma and daddy of Hollis. I grieve for you and your loss. We don’t know each other but your family has touched the heart of my family. I pray your faith stays strong. God is a good God and at some point I pray you have a time in your life when your heart is healed and you live for the day to meet our Lord and Savior standing beside your precious baby boy.

I so badly want to leave a reply, but what does one mother with 3 children say to a mother who has lost two? (More? I don’t know your whole story, forgive me.)
Your journey sounds like it’s been crazy-precious and crazy-hard.
As a fellow special needs mama to a disabled son, I grieve with you and for you. No mother, no parent, is ever ever prepared for this. It is unnatural and yet this is life as we know it. May the God of all peace protect your hearts and minds in the days to come. I am touched by this, and will be praying. And praying.

Rochelle & Jeff Farley
January 4, 2017 9:55 pm Reply

We love you guys and are so sadden and heartbroken over your loss and how quickly it all happened. But we want you to know you have an army of people who love you and who love Hollis. Boy did he change the world! You are AMAZING parents! And your boys are Amazing boys! I’m sure Hollis is running around heaven with his sister and loving on Jesus. We love you!

Thank you for sharing Hollis with us. I fell in love with this little boy from the day I started following his journey with DIPG. I am sorry for your families loss, may God comfort you during this difficult time. I will continue to pray for your family, stay strong.

I can only humbly say that in spirit I joined your journey from the first moment I heard about his battle. Your son truly brought me closer to our Lord, which I did not think possible, as I’m a devoted Christian. I prayed and asked God to please take me instead. But as we know now…, “Thy will be done”
Be proud knowing, that in just 7 years, Hollis made a difference for many. He was truly was a gift from God. I will live my life better to insure I get to meet Hollis and our Lord.

One of the most beautiful and touching things I have ever read… so hard to not weep out loud. What a tribute to life lived rather than the sorrow of loss… that is the hope we hold on to, our hope is in Christ and spending eternity in the presence of God and those we loved on earth. I love your whole family very much. There are just no words for this but yours written above were certainly written with strength from above.

My beautiful friend, so faithful and brave. Thank you for detailing these moments. I will carry this with you forever.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart that shared this with us. I was so shicked that he passed so quick that i cried my self to sleep! I have been thinking of you & Hollis. To know he suffered for only a shirt time is a blessing! I think you did everything you could. I am so sorry you all ran out of time!!!! I feel love for your family! Thank you and God bless you!

Thank you Shawnee in sharing these precious moments. If all of a sudden you guys feel the need for some new air, our doors are open.


The Castillos

It so hurts my heart to hear this story. We too lost our son to cancer (melanoma), just 3 years ago this month. He was diagnosed Thanksgiving Day, and gone in less than 2 months. Although it’s so painful to lose them so fast, be grateful his suffering was minimal. We can never understand why they were taken from us too soon, but just have to trust that God needed him more. May God Bless you through this time. Please keep your focus on him and allow him to help you through this.

Thanks so much for sharing these details of Hollis’ final days, hours, and, literally, minutes of life here on earth, Shawnee. I know you’re all in shock, as are we, your friends. But I think your final sentence draws the only possible conclusion for us all. Hollis wanted to live, and living he is, just not here on earth with us. I know you must be reeling. I was reeling after Josh died, and Alan and I had months to prepare, and a full week after his final surgery and days with him at home for friends to stop by and say their final good-byes. Still, that final breath came too soon.

Please know our prayers and thoughts and love are with you and Shane and Rhett and all your extended family. We are here for you if and whenever you need us.

With unspeakable sorrow and boundless love,

Your story has left me speechless. As a mother, I cannot begin to imagine what you and your family must be going through. As a member of the Living Streams community, I can only pray that you somehow find peace knowing that your sweet young son, Hollis, has joined his maker and is at peace from a devastating disease. I am a nurse and face tragedy daily, but nothing compares to what you have experienced as a mother. I don’t know you or your family personally, but as a person of faith…I love you and will forever keep you in my prayers. May God bless you in during this difficult time. Tina Brucato-Day, Symantha and Emily Day.

Thank you so much for your beautiful sharing. I’m so sorry but you guys lived a full life with him and he never questioned or doubted your love your Devotion to him. Mother’s heart is going to always be tender and these moments and all you can know is that we’re all praying for you both rent in your complete family for comfort and guidance night and day. Thank you for your transparency thank you for sharing Hollis with us. I truly was touched & my life is changed forever because of him a special little guy who pierces my heart. I’m here for whatever you need anytime day or night. May God be with you always Melanie

Shawnee, your heart poured out to us in this letter and I want to say “Thank you”. I am sure this took a lot out of you but if it helps your message helped me and I am sure others who love him so to process the events that took place before your super special Hollis went with the Lord. Your family was and is a major blessing in my life. Both you and Shane have always expressed how thankful you were when both of your boys were in my class and looking back on it now I want you to know they truly blessed me and I learned a lot from them as well. Your faithfulness in the Lord and giving heart at one of the hardest times in your life has truly humbled me today. With all my love and great big hugs I send this message to you. Sincerely💓 Dear Lord hold this family sooo tight Please Lord, don’t let anything come upon their minds, body, and soul but only Your Holy Spirit and strongest angels that they will constantly be protected – In Jesus loving name Amen🙏💟

I’m in tears reading your loving, compassionate, and horrible account. Our Children attend the same school as Hollis, but they are younger. From your account he was so blessed to be surrounded by his family and loved ones in his final hours. Please know our hearts are with you.

I have tears streaming down my face as I read this Shawnee. And I can only imagine how you guys are feeling. When things like this occur it’s hard not to question why tragedy would hit twice to such loving and faithful people. But then I remember that just because life doesn’t look the way we want it to, doesn’t mean it’s not God’s Will. Trusting in God’s greater plans and decisions are not for us to understand. I never met Mr. Hollis but I followed his story and prayed for you all regularly. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you or your family Shawnee. ❤

Shawnee, your heart and soul are laid bare, here, and it is with tears in my eyes and love in my heart that I accept the gift you offer of this account of Hollis’s final days. Thank you so much for sharing this incredible journey with all of us. You, Shane, Rhett, and the whole family are loved beyond what you could ever imagine.

Your grace in this most difficult of times is simply astounding. Your son was a precious commodity and for too short of a time, he was lent to you on earth. There are obviously bigger plans for Hollis, not of this place but one we will come to know too, in our own time.
Sending prayers to your family. Thank you for sharing Hollis’s story…it is truly that of an angel❤️

Sending many prayers for you and your family. May you find strength and peace. I’m so sorry for you loss.

My great grand son, Liam Tracy, one of Hollis’ friends at school and had told us about him being sick. I have been praying for Hollis too but Looks like God just couldn’t wait to have him back. Now he is with Jesus and his sister and I know he is happy and pain free. I will continue to pray for comfort for you and his Dad and brother. I can’t imagine the pain you are experiencing. I am just so sorry you have to hurt this badly.

Naomi, Jeff, Chauncey & Andi Turner
January 4, 2017 10:50 pm Reply

We will never know this side of Heaven why a beautiful life is cut so short. Reading this shows what kind of parents God chose to raise Hollis and it’s easily explained how special he was with you as his parents loving him here on earth. You made everyday for Hollis the best day. Find peace knowing Hollis saw his Savior and ran to Jesus’ open loving arms in paradise. May God Bless you all until you meet again.

This brought me to tears. I can’t believe how strong you are. Your family is so inspiring to ours. Thank you for telling his story so beautifully, and selflessly informing all of us who care and love you. We were lucky to know him and your family. We hope to stay close. Please reach out when you are ready for our hugs and when and if we can do anything in this time of need. Rocco wants to tell you the secret Hollis told him. Xo

Our heart, our tears, and our prayers are with you all.
Thank you for sharing these sacred moments with us.
Thank you for allowing us to see the amazing joy and love for life that Hollis had.
In each picture I see, it is so clear that Hollis was loved and adored by you all, and HE VERY WELL KNEW THAT! The love you, Shane & Rhett gave to him filled him to a place of overflowing. Hollis had a God given, family grown, OVERFLOWING JOY that so many were blessed to be recipients of, and he was created with a contagious smile that will be etched in our hearts for a lifetime.
We Love you!

Shawnee, this is so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing the facts and your heart with all of us. I so SO admire your strength through this battle, and agree with you that Hollis won! I believe the Lord has given you a special revelation of His love for us and for life. Thank you for being brave enough to share with us what the Lord has entrusted to you. You and your family are in our constant prayers. We love you!

You’re all so brave! He was and is of course now an angel. My heart goes out to you’re whole family….. what a brave little man! He could teach us all a lesson about life!

Shawnee … this was difficult to read as my tears flowed for you and Shane and all I can think of was how strong you are for putting your words down during this difficult time. Your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Barbara Hollis Kehm
January 4, 2017 11:26 pm Reply

I am so profoundly moved by your strength and courage. I want you to know that I have never stopped praying for Hollis. I remember talking to Lori Noonan, early on and telling her that Hollis is my middle name. Thank you for all you did for Hollis. I don’t understand why God takes some when does and not others. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I know nothing said can make the pain go away. Just know that Hollis has opened my eyes to this dreaded disease! Hugs

God bless all of you and That his passing was brief, but his life is eternal and one day you will all be together. Until then I will pray for healing for your hearts. Love you all.

Thank you for sharing…..beautiful story !!!

For any parent you’re left with wonder. Spending time rehashing every moment . How can any of us understand unless we are the ones facing Jesus. Tho, I often think why do we/humans have to go they pain to be with our maker ? Why not close our eyes and then walk with our loved ones? I’m a believer of Hollis finding his way…

God will give you strength to handle the days and years to come.

You don’t know me but I have followed your story from the beginning. My heart breaks for you and your family. I know that there are no words in this world to ease your pain but know that you are not alone. Your wonderful young boy will be remembered by all who followed your story or knew you personally. I pray for peace for you until you are reunited in Heaven.

Thanks for sharing your story and reminder to make every moment count, as we don’t know what the future will bring. My heart goes out to Hollis’s family and friends. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to lose such a young child. May you be comforted by the peace of God that surpasses understanding. Heaven seems so far away, but glad you can rest assured that he is there with Jesus now.

Thank you for sharing this. I can only imagine how difficult it is to write this, let alone live it. He sounds like such a special soul who was loved immensely. I wish you all peace and healing surrounded by love. – Valerie

Holy ground you were standing on. God bless you.

This is such a beatiful tragic story of Hollis’ final days. Thank you for sharing this touching battle. What a blessing to have got to know him and your family through hopforhollis.org . I will continue to pray for your family as you begin your healing. Accept my condolences and may the Lord comfort you and your family.

Bless you and your family.. Fly high Hollis x

Oh Shawnee, so hard for you to share, so very hard to go through. Prayers, tears, and love to all of you.

My heart grieves for your family. We don’t know each other but we have many mutual friends and I have been to a fund raiser for Hollis and sent support and I have been praying daily for your whole family since I learned of his diagnosis 9 months ago. I joined you in praying that he have “the most best days”. I know, from following your story, that God truly blessed his days. We will never understand the way his life was lost but we can certainly see how his life was lived and used to encourage others and to bring awareness to this horrible disease. My prayers for you all and Hollis’ legacy will continue.

May the Holy Spirit give you all comfort and peace at this time. Rest in the peace that you all know Jesus and will be reunited again once day because of what our savior did for us. I know there is not much else to say for comfort, but just always remember the love you all shared and the joyous times your family has experienced. God bless you all and big hugs from the King family.

What a beautiful family. Your precious son went to Jesus with a knowledge that many children aren’t given on this earth, and a families love by his side.

My nephew, Taylor Nelson, had us all praying for your son. No one should have to deal with this…I know God has given you strength….xoxo

Shawnee, thank you for sharing this account of Hollis’ last days, as painful as that had to be for you. It is so good to know that he did not have to go through the usual symptoms of DIPG until the very end of his earthly life. You and Shane certainly gave Hollis the “Most Best Days” that any child could receive. You gave your best, not only to Hollis, but to the cause of bringing awareness to all of DIPG. I am confident those efforts will not have been in vain. Teresa and I continue to pray for your family. Thank you for sharing your lives as an open book as you traveled this most difficult road.

Thank you for sharing. All our love to Hollis and you three during this very difficult time. You are amazing parents and big brother! Sending hugs all around. – The Mintons (Matt, Kat & Jack)

I am so sorry for your loss but Hollis is at peace, no more dipg. Thank you for your explanation of his last hours. I can’t imagine how difficult it was for you and your family. Sending you prayers of relief and strength.

Beautiful. So sorry. Been following and praying with you guys for Hollis.

January 5, 2017 6:59 am Reply

God was so good to give you a Joiesttime with your son and let him live normal , until he brought him home to be with his lord and saver. May God be with you and your family always.

Hollis’ story has touched so many people – many that you will never know about. Your faith has shined through as I have followed his story from a distance since I don’t know your family. I still feel compelled to say that reading this post, I am standing with you in support as a Sister in Christ. My heart grieves for you and your family. I cannot begin to imagine the pain and sorrow you have now, but am so thankful that God gave Hollis 9 months of asymptomatic life to live with such a loving and supportive family. He is definitely in the arms of Jesus now! And he is forever in glory and at peace, free from pain. I pray that you are surrounded by the love of the people who matter most in your life right now.
In Christ’s love,
Vicki Shearer

So heartbreaking:( I can’t imagine the pain of loosing a child or grandchild. Praying for Peace and Comfort for your family throughout this difficult time.

You are the most loving family I know. Hollis lived more in his short life than many do that live to an old age. His fight for life was because of his loving family, friends and strangers that fought right along side of him. You were fighting a battle no parents should have to and still you were supporting other families, educating the public and bringing awareness to so many of us that knew so little about children living with cancer. Because of you and your entire family Hollis knew he was never alone, that you were fighting as hard for his life as you would for your own. Not many know love like Hollis did. My heart breaks knowing Hollis was taken long before his time. I believe you faith, love and courage will carry you through this tragic loss and Hollis will live on in the hearts of all who knew him.

Shawnee and family, I am so sorry for your loss. I have hesitated in offering my condolences, because no words seemed adequate, but really, no words ever will be adequate for such a loss. My heart is with you all.

Thank you so much for sharing Shawnee. Knowing he lived to the fullest as long as he did is some degree of comfort. We are praying for you and yours night and day, asking God to be your comfort. If there is anything at all we can do, please let us know. Love, you, Faith Cummings

Oh Shawnee!…thank you for sharing this, even through the unfathomable grief. I am amazed at your strength! It’s a testament to the everlasting grace of our Father in heaven and how much you love the Lord and seek to comfort all of us even, through your sorrow. Those that don’t know the nature of God will wonder how a loving God could allow this to happen but we, as believers know different, and though we don’t understand His plan on bringing Hollis onto His arms without a long life on this earth, we have confidence that He is revealing His goodness to your family and will comfort your family and give you peace. Further, as is already happening, God is allowing all of us to see faith and goodness at work in your family which draws the unbeliever to see God’s work and Word through your family and glorifies Him. We love you all so much and pray for your precious hearts to be comforted and may you feel the arms of God holding you tight and warm. I am absolutely sure Hollis is gloriously joyous at this moment to finally meet and play with his sister and see the face of Jesus.

Shawnee, as always, you are such an amazing writer and have provided the emotional story that made me feel as though I was standing right there when this all happened. I don’t cry easily, but tears fill my eyes to read what you have endured. As a mother, the thought of the pain you must feel is heart wrenching. Even though we did not physically meet Hollis, I feel I know him well. My vision is that of a boy that everyone loved to be around, filled with joy and spirit. His story is tragic, yet his attitude amazing. Thank you so much for sharing. Peace be with you, Shane, Rhett and the rest of your family. xoxo

Thank you for sharing your story about Hollis’ last few days. I didn’t know Hollis personally, only through his Fathers testimony at our men’s retreat.
The bravery shown not only by Hollis but all your family in this very difficult and tragic period is overwhelming.
I ask and pray that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ receive Hollis with wide open and loving arms.
May God Bless you all.

I am so sorry for this loss that you are all suffering right now. I am glad that he was a happy, active little boy, right up to the end, although it must make this sudden loss seem even more unbelievable. I hope you can feel his arms wrapped around you, sending his love, and assurance that he is happy and comfortable.

Thank you so much for sharing your story about your beautiful and brave boy. He’s in a wonderful place now and smiling down on his incredibly loving, strong and compassionate parents. Your journey has opened many doors for DIPG awareness and many families will benefit from your journey. May God bless you all and give you peace and love in your hearts knowing what a tremendous gift your boy was during his short time on this earth. ❤

Gratitude and Grace are the first words that come to mind after reading your post. That you would reach out through your unbearable grief to share your family’s and Hollis last days are comforting. You and Shane are such selfless people which explains why G-d gave you the gift of this beautiful child, even if for such a short time on earth. In spirit he will always be yours and with you. Hollis was able to champion this disease and live as normal a life as possible because you fostered that environment in your hearts and home.
Shawnee and Shane, the last few days have been difficult for many of us who watched him live and fight DIPG as you blessed us with a small window into your lives for the sake of awareness. You gave a name and a beautiful, innocent, rambunctious face to this grossly underfunded, neglated childhood cancer that at times seemed hopeless.
I no longer feel hopeless, instead today I feel inspired that this child, G-d’s gift, had purpose and is revealing that purpose through you.
Now is your time to grieve. Although we grieve along side you we are here to give you strength as you have so eloquently demonstrated to us what that looks like.
In the end, Hollis got what he wanted, on his terms…..to be normal again and to be free of this disease. He did not want to suffer and prolong his death as he witnessed that with all the other angels he met on their way to heaven. He was a wise, old soul who packed a lifetime into his 7 short years.
In closing my friends, you, Shane, Rhett and the rest of your family and loved ones will always have more time with him. His soul lives on within you. He will never leave you. He only left the physical earth and his broken body so his soul could soar to a higher cause, free of disease, but in light and love!
Thank you for taking the time during your grief to share Hollis’ continued journey with us.
G-d is with you and we are ready to fight along side you to champion his cause whenever you are ready!
With love and gratitude my friends,

Prayers are being sent to your family during this sad time. So tough to imagine watching such an angel pass, and so young. I lost my son 2 years ago, at 55, and it was terrible. So sorry your family is going through this…

Our whole organization is praying for your family. Your tribute was beautiful and I can not think of a better place for you to be in his final days. Flagstaff is beautiful, peaceful and reminds us of simpler times. God Bless little HOLLIS and especially Mom as your heart is breaking so are ours with you. Michelle at MOTHERS GRACE. please reach out to us if your family needs anything at all-

Shane, Shawnee, there are no adequate words. I am so profoundly sorry you lost your precious boy. I cried and cried when I heard that Hollis had died. He and your family have had a special place in our hearts since we met in Hawaii. I hesitate to say this, but I was often so envious that Hollis was doing so well as Mason struggles with so many symptoms. I was so happy that he continued to live life as I wished my Mason could. If there is any consolation, and I know there is not, it is that Hollis truly lived every minute, running and playing. You guys are amazing parents. Hollis is a beautiful angel. May he Rest In Peace in heaven until you meet again. Hugs to you. ❤

So sorry for your loss. He sounded like a very brave young man. I’m sure God has big plans for him.

May our heavenly father comfort you in a way only He can. And may knowing the King of Kings give you more joy than anything in this world can. With love, a new friend, Penny (a friend of Jessica)

My heart is sad to hear of Hollis’ passing, but the photos, videos and other posts of his smiling face and personality through all this make me smile. I continue to pray for your family for strength and comfort from our Lord God Almighty. I didn’t know Hollis or your family personally, but knew you from Living Streams services and events for Hollis. He has touched so many during his life. May we all remember him and know he’s running around and smiling with Jesus and his sister now. God be with you and your family.

Thank you for sharing! This saddens my heart! I know he has got to meet my grand daughter Jessica in Heaven. It is so hard to understand when children go before us. I have asked God so many times why Jessica and not me. I know he has a plan that someday I will understand. I will pray for you and your family! I pray for his grand parent’s! So hard to watch your child loose their child! Love you forever, Karen Beason

Words can never express the heartbreak for your loss. Thank you for sharing the warmth and beauty of your last days with Hollis – he will surely take that love with him to heaven. We will be praying that God brings you comfort during these very difficult times. – Tim Clarke and Family

Thank you for sharing your life, your love, your Hollis with us. Our hearts break for you. Your wonderful dedication, love, words will go on. Yes, Hollis is running, living, laughing and loving it all, as only Hollis could! Oh yes, Hollis’ hugs, so cozy. Jesus is just loving those Hollis hugs! Beautiful Shawnee, beautiful. Your words have painted a priceless picture. So much love, Sharon and Terell.

Oh Shawnee, truly no words. He was just playing basketball the other day when we talked…such a fun, beautiful ball of energy:) We love him!…and you all. xoxo

As tears run down my cheeks I have no words for the pain your family must feel, but I can absolutely promise you that his beautiful life has changed my world as a medical case manager forever. I will always remember your son’s story. As heart wrenching as this is, it is important to remember that it is also equally as beautiful. As I work besides many other families walking similar journeys I will remember, I will always remember your son’s story. I start my mornings praying to The Lord each day that I can be blessed enough to even offer one single ounce of comfort to our sweet children and their families in these unimaginable times. I promise you that my prayers will have a new and special meaning because of your sons story. Thank you for sharing your most intimate moments with us. It surely has touch my heart and soul. ❤

Stacie, David, and Rylan Taylor
January 5, 2017 5:13 pm Reply

My heart is breaking for you and your family. I am glad that David could be there for everyone to lean on. The loss of a child is the worst pain a family can experience. I am so sorry for your loss. Even though the quickness of his passing did not leave time for you, maybe God’s plan was to spare Hollis from the suffering. He was blessed with 9-months of pain-free living and only a short time of pain. He is now sitting on God’s lap without any pain. May his light comfort you you and your family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Thank you for sharing. ❤
I thought I had more time to plan also, despite obvious DIPG progression. There’s never enough time and it’s always a shock, but Hollis’s departure came out of nowhere. I thought I wasn’t paying attention at first and surely missed something.
Prayers ☝sent from Louisiana for peace & strength for you 3.

Thank you for sharing this. Even tho I don’t know you , I have prayed for your family so much since March. We have lots of mutual friends thru Young LIFE who love and care for your family deeply.
What a sweet little boy your Hollis was. I can’t imagine the pain of his loss to you and am asking God to comfort your family. Someday you will be reunited forever. Right now He hangs with Jesus. What a wonderful thought for me to picture. My prayers and hugs are sent to your from Woodleaf.

People ask me how I KNOW Jesus is real. Without every touching someone, how can you know for certain He is alive? THIS is how… within days this family is able to beautifully put into words their faith in Jesus even as they hug their son good-bye and send him to Heaven. You can not take away sadness, but Jesus can give those with real faith in Him a peace and an ability to see the blessings during times of hopelessness. This is beautiful. This family’s faith surpasses human understanding and is a testimony to how Jesus comforts his believers, this is real and raw…This clarity only comes when you accept God’s will and then allow God’s love to raise you up in strength. Evidence= their peace, faith and praising God as they send their second child to be with God. Praying for your family, thank you for sharing your son with us. My family has heard and been praying for Hollis for months. The lives he has touched is beyond what you will know. My oldest daughter read this story out loud to our family and we all felt God’s love through your words. Well done beautiful and faithful child, now may you find rest with your Heavenly family until one day when your family gets to see you and hug and kiss you again.

I can’t stop crying, crying for you, ur family and specially for Hollis, I’m a believer and I’m sure he is with his sister now, happy in heaven. We can’t be agains God decisions but sometimes when such a young life is taken, we can’t understand why?….why?…..
I’m praying and praying for ur family and Hollis.

You don’t know me but you may have met my son Enrique from Living Streams. I had heard about Hollis while taking him to childcare this past year and have been praying for Hollis and your family since. I’m so sorry for you loss but am happy to here he was able to
enjoy his days as any boy should.. that you were able to spend each day with him to its full potential. Reading about his final days I couldn’t help but weep half way through, it is so heart breaking but also such a strong testimony of Faith. Thank you for sharing your family with us and your heart. Hollis you will be forever remembered.

Shawnee, this is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing the intimate details. It somehow relieves a little pain and sadness. We love you all so very much and oh how we will miss Hollis.

Hollis has impacted so many lives! My kids and I didn’t personally know him or your family but we go to Simis. My kids knew about hope for Hollis and feel the impact of his passing as they discuss him at school. What a powerful little spirit! Thank you for sharing him with us ❤️❤️❤️❤️.

I’m so sorry for you loss. I first learned of Hollis through my Granddaughter Lauren (Diamondbacks rally-back) He took her heart from the day she met him, as I know he did to so many here on earth. My prayers are still with you. Thank you for sharing.
God Bless to you and your family xo

Thank you for sharing this with the community. I do not know you or your family or precious Hollis but we have mutual friends that have continued to keep me informed.
I would like to express my sincerest sympathy and my continued thoughts and prayers. I know what it is to lose a child, my son died at the age of 29 in a construction accident. He left behind a wife and 2 children. It does not matter at what age a child dies, it still is not the way we think it should be.
I truly believe your prayers and your letting him know that Jesus and his sister were waiting for him was why he didn’t suffer any longer. I also firmly believe that Jesus and Hollis will be with you and your family and get you through this till one day you are all together again.
Rebecca Mosher & family

Dear Shawnee-
We have never met, and I have not seen Shane in many years, but I grew up in PV with Shane and his sister. I have tears flooding my desk. Your beautiful, heart-breaking account of saying good bye to your sweet, sweet little boy is just so painful, so real, and so gut-wrenching as a mother. I pray for peace for you and Shane and your whole family. Your openness and great big heart have moved me deeply.
Jamie Cohen Schnel

Until about a 2 weeks ago I didn’t know anything about dipg. All that changed the day after Christmas when my (great)niece was brought to the ER (then straight to Dartmouth Hitchcock) with continuing headaches and a newly onset of a ‘lazy eye.’ After some testing her parents were given this same horrific diagnosis.
I am completely sadden by your story, yet oddly (I’m sure you’ll understand) comforted knowing Hollis lived a relatively ‘normal’ life right up until the Lord took him home.
It is just so incredibly awesome to read how Hollis loved life so much.
Our Ciara sounds a lot like Hollis. So my hope for her is that she, too, will live the rest of her life as Hollis did. Riding bikes, playing with her sisters and brothers, building snowmen, learning with her classmates, baking with her Mama and riding in the plow truck with her Dad.
So, thank you, thank you, thank you…..for having the strength to write this story, for sharing this story and for giving us all HOPE.
I will pray that comfort comes to you and peace to your entire family. I will pray that when you close your eyes to sleep Hollis comes to your dreams and tells you ‘I’m alright Mama. Heaven is all we thought it would be (and more!) and I no longer feel pain, only sweet, sweet love.’

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