More than 700 people gathered at Plymouth Covenant Church Aug. 9 to celebrate the life of Plymouth resident Amara Weidinger, 8, who died of a mysterious illness July 26.
Although some of the best doctors in the world are still questioning what illness led to Weidinger’s death, all who attended the celebration left knowing with certainty who the 8-year-old with bright blue eyes was.
Professing to her mother, Molly, one evening before she became ill that she loved Jesus more than her parents, Amara was a devote Christian and went about her days telling everyone she met about her best friend, Jesus.
“She loved Jesus more than anything and all she wanted was to go to heaven,” said her mother during the ceremony.
Even when Amara was in and out of surgery and various hospitals, she never doubted her faith or asked why, said her aunt Anne.
After each surgery, Amara acquired a new scar: one on her head from the insertion of a shunt, one on her side and another on her back. But Amara was proud of her scars because they were in the same places as the scars Jesus had, explained her aunt Anne.
In 2009 Amara went in for an MRI scan of her brain and spine. The MRI found a mass on her spinal cord, some “stuff” on her brain, and some nodules around the outside of her kidneys, according to her CaringBridge page.
She was immediately admitted to Children’s Hospital where she underwent many tests and a spinal tap. It was there that the family learned that Amara was a medical mystery.
During the last six months of her life, her health deteriorated, and the doctors were at a loss for a cure.
On July 26, she died in the comfort of her home, surrounded by her family.
Amara’s parents, Molly and Matt, agreed to allow doctors to conduct a full autopsy to determinethe cause of their daughter’s illness with the hopes of saving other children’s lives in the future.
In addition to being a devote Christian, another characterizing trait was her ability to connect with people, both young and old, said her mother Molly after the celebration. She was so kind and caring; she was an old soul trapped in a little body, her mother explained.
After her daughter’s death, Molly said she received personal letters from many of the nurses that cared for Amara.
“They saw something different and unique in Amara and said they have never met anyone like her,” said Molly.
As a way to honor Amara, Abby Jorgenrud, Amara’s close friend, created “Amara’s Acts of Kindness.” By taking this pledge an individual agrees that every day, for an entire year, they will share an act of kindness with someone. This is a way to ensure Amara’s legacy of kindness and love lives on, is unfading and eternal – the actual definition of the name “Amara.”
To make the pledge, visit: http://bit.ly/RDeeUM. Those interested in supporting Amara’s family can make a donation to the “Amara Weidinger Fund” at any Wells Fargo Bank.