OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Vibrant colors, uplifting song and dance helped Joshua and Angel Myers say goodbye to their little girl, Sophia Myers, on Thursday.
The celebration of life ceremony was held at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Ocean Springs.
Many spoke on behalf of Sophia, saying prayers in her honor. "We live in a world where disease exists and Sophia had a terrible disease," said the pastor.
"I had Sophia for almost eight years and she always meant the world to me. I think she gave me more than I gave her," said Joshua Myers.
"Sophia endured a lot during this cancer journey," said Angel Myers.
Their daughter Sophia was diagnosed DIPG in February, which is short for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.
Sophia spent the last seven months of her life on chemo therapy and had to take 14 large pills. It was all part of her battle against the rare and deadly brain cancer.
However, her battle wasn't fought alone. Thousands of people rallied behind her, affectionately nicknamed "Bug" by her parents. Many of them attended her Celebration of Life ceremony in Ocean Springs, while hundreds more live streamed it on Facebook.
"Especially today, we praise you for Sophia Ann Myers, whom you've received to be with you forever," said one lady during prayer.
Sophia had two brain surgeries, six MRIs, numerous CAT scans and X-rays. She spent two of the last months of her life in the hospital. Angel said she reached a point where Sophia's blood couldn't be drawn due to the medication she was taking, and "she had been poked so many times."
"One of the hardest things to deal with is how life just keeps moving on no matter how our life came crashing down February 22," said Angel.
"Joshua, Angel...I just want to say thank you for your humility and your witness to countless multitudes," said one woman at the podium.
"I'm so proud of you and I'm sorry you hurt that last eight months of your life. I know I shouldn't feel responsible, but I do," said Joshua Myers.
Angel said their daughter worked hard through her speech, physical and occupational therapies.
"Her body grew and stretched. The deep stretch marks that you know had to hurt and itch and she never complained. My fiercely independent and modest little girl lost all of her dignity and required us to take care of even her most personal needs, and that baby never complained. The closest that she ever came to complaining was she told me one day, 'Mommy my life is so hard.'"
"We know that right now Sophia has brightened heaven," said the pastor.
"I thank you for the blessing of being her mom. It has been the greatest joy of my life. See you later baby Bug. Mommy loves you," Angel said.
"I can only be grateful when I realize I would rather have known you for a moment than never at all. I just love you this much," said Joshua.
The DKG dance ensemble performed during her ceremony. Sophia's very colorful pink casket was covered in polka dots and flowers.
Sophia is the third child in Ocean Springs to die from DIPG. Following the ceremony the procession made its way to Evergreen Cemetery on the Banks of Fort Bayou.