Rebekah Spader’s Light Still Shines

When the diagnosis is terminal cancer, everyone knows that some day, “that day,” will come. After a long battle, 10-year-old Rebekah Spader passed away early Thursday  morning.

KDLT News had the privilege of sharing parts of Rebekah’s life during the last year. From a Christian music concert to a special date for winter formal, Rebekah and her family made each day together count.

In ten short years, Rebekah Spader brought a lot of light into this world.

We first met Rebekah last summer. At that time, her family had recently made the difficult decision to forego treatment for myelodysplastic syndrome.

But that did not mean they gave up on her life.

“We’re going to live life to the fullest and just stop treatment and do what we could to enjoy what we have left and we don’t know what that is, it might be 5 months, it might be five years, it might be 25 years,” said Stephanie Spader in June 2015.

“Or 80 years!” said Rebekah.

“Or 80 years!” said Rebekah, Stephanie and Tony Spader.

There were campfires, fishing trips, even a new puppy.
But those gifts paled in comparison to what Rebekah wanted to give back.

“Give another kid a Make-A-Wish,” said Rebekah in June 2015.

And so two of Rebekah’s favorite Christian musicians put on a concert to raise money so another child could have a wish through Make-A-Wish.

The concert raised $19,000. That was enough to send a family from Miller to Disney World.

This winter, Rebekah’s brother AJ needed a date for O’Gorman’s formal.
He didn’t have to look far.

“I would be broken if you weren’t my sister because you taught me how to be brave and I’d be blessed if you went to formal with me,” said AJ in February 2016.

It was a night of fun with family, where a diagnosis took a back seat to dancing.

“The only reason it’s happening is because of the inevitable with Rebekah, but it makes me have a really happy mom heart knowing that maybe we’ve done something right raising kids that put other people first,” said Stephanie in February 2016.

Broken. Brave. Blessed. That’s the Spader family motto.

They know that Rebekah’s light is not out.
It’s just shining in a different place now.

“(You) never know how God is going to work in your life, do you?” said Stephanie in June 2015.

“Nope!” said Rebekah.

“We don’t,” said Tony.

Rebekah’s funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday August 9 at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Sioux Falls.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to First National Bank’s “Rebekah’s Memorial Fund”.

Read more about Rebekah’s life here.