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Six-year-old Aubree Cerruti triumphs over leukemia


On June 4, a small but powerful sound resonated through the halls of Prisma Health Children’s Hospital in Columbia. It was the ringing of a bell by six-year-old Aubree Cerruti, signaling the end of her battle against leukemia. Surrounded by family, friends, and a supportive community, Aubree’s victory was a moment of profound relief and joy.

Aubree’s journey began in January 2022, just a month after her family had relocated to Summerton from Long Island, New York. Her mother, Kara Cerruti, reflects on the challenging times with deep emotion. “Within one month of us moving here, so January of 2022, Aubree was complaining about stomach pains and she seemed more tired than normal,” Kara said. “We took her to the doctor on February 14 after noticing the yellowing of her skin, and within 48 hours she had to have an emergency blood transfusion.”

Initially diagnosed with anemia, Aubree’s condition rapidly deteriorated, culminating in a high fever that led to a hospitalization three weeks later. “The doctors asked me to step out of the room. I cried down the hall and continued once they brought me to a tiny research-looking office room while Aubree was occupied and having ‘fun in her hospital room,’” Kara recalls. “After they told me it was confirmed to be cancer, the nice male doctor, whom we have come to know and love, told us that if her type of cancer is caught this early, it’s 95% ‘curable/treatable’ so that she will and can remain cancer-free once treatment is over.”

Rob, Kara’s husband, walked in shortly after the devastating news was delivered. “I probably blurted out ‘it’s cancer,’ but maybe something like ‘they said she’ll be okay, it’ll be okay,’ and kept crying,” Kara says. “Then I told the doctors to tell him and explain it to him, so I could process and write things down.”

Aubree underwent immediate treatment, including chemotherapy

and the placement of a port in her chest. The Cerruti family leaned heavily on their faith and the support of their new community. “That first week we leaned on family in New York a lot because we were still so new here; but they all had so much going on,” Kara notes. “There were homes being purchased, weddings, twins being born and so much more.”

Navigating full-time jobs, cancer treatment, and raising two children was an immense challenge. “For me, it was my faith that saved me, or if we are being completely honest, Aubree’s faith that saved my life,” Kara admits. “Rob and I are really good at parenting and being able to put our roadblocks aside so we can take good care of our girls, and that is just what we did.”

The Cerruti family found immense support from their new community at Harvest Community School and Faith Church in Santee. “Harvest showed up in many countless ways; hosting bake sales, t-shirt sales, countless paid hospital days, and their constant efforts of trying to make my family feel comfortable and, most importantly, joyful enough to see the Holy Spirit shine through their spirits,” Kara shares. “Our family is truly blessed to have Harvest Community and its staff and students.”

On June 4, surrounded by family, friends, and community members, Aubree rang the bell to signify the end of her treatment. In attendance were Pastor Matt and Pastor Dale from Faith Church, close family friends, and even Aubree’s friends from school. The celebration continued at Mellow Mushroom, where the staff went above and beyond to make the day special.

Reflecting on the journey, Kara expresses immense gratitude. “Our new community, at Faith, in Summerton and Sumter, began to show up in ways we could never have imagined. Truly, God has circled this place on a map for us,” she says. “Faith Church will tell the story of Aubree, a Hero of Faith, in their upcoming series.  Our Faith Family has shown up weekly by prayers, hugs, smiles, warm hugs, donations, hosting bracelets, helping us advocate for Childhood Cancer Awareness, and so much more.”

As they look ahead, Aubree’s future is bright and filled with dreams. She aspires to be a singer, doctor, and artist. “Aubree’s plans for the future are clear; rapper/singer, Doctor of Oncology, and an artist on Fridays. Her plans are as bright and beautiful as she is,” Kara says proudly. “She sings in the chorus club at Harvest, is obsessed with anything arts and crafts, and has mentioned several times she wants to help kids like her who have cancer fight and win.”

Kara also reflects on the impact of faith throughout their journey. “Have you ever heard someone speak so purely about God? Aubree does. She will break out in random worship songs of praise for Him, and constantly gives Him praise,” Kara shares. “Her purpose in life is so clear, spreading joy wherever she goes while singing His name.”

Aubree’s story is one of resilience, faith, and the power of community. As she continues to grow, she remains a beacon of hope and inspiration, reminding everyone that miracles do happen, and with faith, anything is possible.