When Kraleigh Burnett was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, her family and community embraced the 5-year-old and sought to lift her up.

But it was Kraleigh who provided the strength and conviction to help others afflicted with childhood cancer. She succumbed to the rare disease at home Sunday morning, leaving this world with the same courage and grace that helped her live beyond expectations.

"She was the toughest and most courageous person I have ever known," her father, Rhett Burnett, told The Transcript this week. "I will spend the rest of my life trying to live up to her example."

The family, led by Kraleigh, turned their efforts to helping others. Courage of Grace ministries reached out to other families whose children are undergoing cancer treatment. High schools, churches and other community groups took up the cause which was grounded in the family's strong faith.

The mission was to help support and comfort children and families suffering from serious diseases. They provide joy, laughter, cheerleading and encouragement for the fight as well as tangible needs like nutrients and entertainment toys.

Kraleigh fought the good fight. Her body can now rest but the ministry founded through her family's selflessness continues. She touched more lives in her seven years than most of us do in a lifetime.

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