June 19, 2011 – July 9, 2020
Diagnosed: August 12, 2019
Elita Basha was just 9 years old when her precious life was cut short due to DIPG. Diagnosed in August of 2019, Elita endured an 11 month unimaginable battle with a fighting courage no child should ever possess.
Born in New York, an only child to Dafina Basha, Elita was kind, beautiful and so full of life. Elita was adventurous, curious, and loved trying new food (including Nana’s spicy peppers) and new challenges. She was brave, smart, ambitious, and loved competition. She was an excellent student-always top of her class in every grade, loved math, and would ask us to give her math problems for fun, whether it was on a car ride to pass time or at home on a piece of paper.
Elita loved reading and wanted to be a teacher, to teach others everything she knew, and to always do their best; she was such a natural empathetic leader. Elita loved fiercely her parents, her 4 cousins (Ipar, Thesar, Eni, and Troja), her grandparents, uncles and aunt, her friends, and her dog Coco. Elita loved being silly and making everyone around her smile and laugh. She was very loving, full of positive energy, and had a ton of love to share. She was beautiful inside and out. Her sweet personality and ever-present smile warmed the hearts of everyone she met and her story touched thousands across the world.
Even during treatment, undergoing countless needle pokes and doctor visits, Elita once proclaimed, “life is not hard”. But still, DIPG is one of the cruelest diseases known to mankind, and over time Elita lost her ability to do all of the things she once loved.
Elita passed away on July 9, 2020, just 20 days after her 9th birthday. In those final days, Dafina made a promise to herself that she would honor her daughter’s incredible spirit by fighting to one day have viable treatment options for other children.
In the midst of navigating her incredible pain and loss, Dafina has joined the ChadTough Defeat DIPG Foundation as a Family Partner, to help raise awareness and funds for the research so desperately needed in order for a cure. Dafina shared with us this powerful poem she wrote that offers a glimpse into the heart of a grieving mother:
A MOTHER’S ACHING HEART FOR HER CHILD Most people have experienced pain of some sort, Do you remember a time when tears came without warning and just flowed? Maybe that was one minute, one hour, one day, But imagine this being every minute, every hour, every day, For many days, many nights, many weeks, Tears flowing and you cry yourself to sleep. That’s a mother’s heart grieving for her child before she even lost her, That’s a mother’s heart aching because she cannot make it better, That’s a mother’s heart aching for her child with terminal cancer! A mother that cannot even tell her! How can I watch her drift away, while I stay?!” “How can I tell her that it will be ok? That’s a mother’s heart wishing she can make it go away, That’s a mother’s heart wanting to switch places and take that pain away. You always promise your child you will protect them, You always promise to keep them safe, But this time that is not the case! This time you cannot keep that promise, This time you are hopeless and helpless, And tears keep flowing, they are endless! Awareness=Funds=RESEARCH=CURE