UPDATED: Remembering Ann HaeringAnn Haering, the East Ridge High School senior and Woodbury resident, lost her battle with leukemia on Sunday, Feb. 20, when she died.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
Ann Haering’s fight has come to an end.
The East Ridge High School senior, and Woodbury resident, lost her battle with leukemia on Sunday, Feb. 20.
“My best memory of Ann will be when she could just be herself in between when she was sick,” said Samantha Greeley, an East Ridge senior and friend of Haering’s. “I’ll remember when she could just have fun with us.”
Haering’s family could not be reached for comment.
A visitation for Haering will be held on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. at St. Ambrose of Woodbury Catholic Church. Haering's funeral will be Saturday at 11 a.m. at St. Ambrose of Woodbury Catholic Church.
The 18-year-old’s fight had been a roller coaster for the past four years.
She was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on Feb. 6, 2007, when she was just an eighth grader at Lake Junior High.
Her diagnosis ultimately ended her once-promising soccer career as a forward for the Woodbury Soccer Club’s U-14 Premier program.
Greeley, who played soccer with Haering, said Haering’s initial diagnosis was a shock for everyone.
“We didn’t think anything like that would ever happen,” she said.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a form of leukemia, or cancer, of the white blood cells characterized by excess lymphoblasts.
After nearly two- and a-half years of chemotherapy, Haering was in remission and was able to return to a typical high school life. That remission, however, was short lived.
On April 28 of last year, the leukemia had returned.
Last fall, Haering was at the University of Minnesota Medical Center recovering from bone/blood marrow transplant and subsequent complications.
On Jan. 24 Haering was admitted to the in-patient intensive-care unit at the University of Minnesota with a serious blood infection.
Coping at school
East Ridge is providing resources to its students and faculty this week in order to help everyone grieve, East Ridge Principal Aaron Harper said.
Throughout the week, East Ridge will have counselors, psychologists and faculty members on hand to talk to students.
Additionally, the school has set up a “safe room,” or a space for students to come together to grieve.
“It provides a safe environment for students and faculty to talk, to share stories and to put feelings and memories to words,” Harper said.
Haering made a profound impact on the community as evidenced by a recent benefit concert at East Ridge and local hockey teams dedicating games to her.
Greeley, who became friends with Haering in junior high school, said some of her best memories of Haering was getting together and having fun.
“We would just do silly stuff,” she said. “We would just hang out and be kids.”
Greeley said she will always remember Haering’s personality.
“I’ll always remember how much of a good person she was,” she said. “I could always count on her.”
Harper said his fondest memory of Haering was her smile.
“She’s such a warm soul — her smile is a symbolic memory of that,” he said. “Her smile, which lit up a room, will go unmatched by anyone.”
Harper said he will also remember the friendly rivalry he and Haering had over the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings.
“She, the Packers fan, always teased me, the Vikings fan,” he said. “But this year we were all praying the Packers won a Super Bowl this year on behalf of Ann.”
Another of Haering’s friends, Nikki Soler, said she is going to remember the little things about Haering — her wit, her spunk, her sweetness, but most importantly her strength.
“She was super strong,” she said. “Everyone was inspired by her.”
Soler filled in for Haering, who was in the hospital when she was named Homecoming Queen.
Soler said Haering had a profound impact on everyone who knew her.
“I think Ann’s changed a lot of people for the better,” she said. “She taught everyone to appreciate the little things.”
Soler said it is going to take some time to cope with Haering’s death.
“We’re all going to miss her — no one is going to be able to fill that void,” she said. “Since everybody cares about her so much, it’s going to help us all get through it.”
A visitation will be held for Ann Haering on Feb. 25 from 5 to 8 p.m. at St. Ambrose of Woodbury Catholic Church. The funeral service will be Feb. 26 at 11 a.m.at St. Ambrose of Woodbury Catholic Church. A two-hour visitation prior to mass will be from 9 to 11 a.m. at the church.