ATHENS, GA- Vanessa Flores
Over 1200 helium heart shaped ballons decorated the Athens Academy gym.There were somber moments, but for the most part, her family and the entire Athens Academy Community celebrated her life after her passing.
Amongst laughter and tears Kajal Patel’s life and legacy was celebrated yesterday evening. She was the inspiration to help break the Guiness Book of Records for most bone marrow swabs collected in one day. Her parents were not ready to speak but a Patel family friend spoke on their behalf.
“Whatever she did, she did well. When she danced she danced with rhythym. When she spoke people listened. She always got what she wanted,” Nehal Bhatt says.
Mike Dekle, whose grandaughter was Kajals classmate performed a few lines of “Lean on Me.” Four middle school students also performed “Heaven” by the Los Lonely Boys.
One of the saddest moments of the evening was when Her mother, Tina, broke down in tears when thanking Kajal’s Doctor for her efforts.
“Because of Dr. Patinski’s effort. She never told us to gave up. She was always trying to find a way to help and find a cure for Kajal. She did her best,” she says. Donna Hopper, her 5th grade science teacher says she had a fun about her and she loved to tease. SHe also says that when people refer to her bright smile it is an understatement.
Another big part of her life was her white Lab, Arju, whom she affectionately refered to as her little brother and whom Abby says she always talked about.