On November 23, 2010 heaven welcomed it’s newest angel.
Courtney Teresa Vaughn, 23 fought a year long battle with Leukemia including a cord blood transplant followed by numerous, life-threatening complications. She survived longer than any of the doctors expected – but that’s Courtney.
She was always the most positive, uplifting, sweet person anyone ever knew. In her 23 years she experienced more than most do in a life time. She lived. After moving to Orlando from Washington state in 1999, she attended Holy Redeemer and St. Charles grade schools and graduated from Bishop Moore High School in 2005 where she was involved in cheerleading and drama club as well as playing the mascot Hornet her senior year for several games.
She most recently was attending Florida Southern College in Lakeland, FL as a biology major and a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority.
She was a perfect fit for her job at Disney where she started working at 16, most recently as a lifeguard at All Star Resort, and making their competitive lifeguard team. She was Disney. Kind, caring, helpful, always smiling.
She was so proud of the rare pin she received from Lee Cockerell, former Disney executive because a guest had written in about how wonderful she was. That’s Courtney. She excelled. Over the last two years Courtney fell in love with her prince charming, Phil. Together, they were making a family but their child-to-be had to go to heaven first and get things ready for Mom so she could start chemo.
They were engaged last Thanksgiving, next day she shaved her head. That’s Courtney. She loved.
At Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, she made such an impact on the medical staff that they all came in and cried and hugged as if she was one of their family. We will be eternally grateful for their loving care. That’s Courtney. She changed lives, while never complaining about her situation. Anyone who knew her will be a better person because they did. We miss you princess. We will never forget you and look forward to seeing you again someday.
Courtney will be watching over her mom and dad Teresa and Brad Vaughn, sister Alexandra Vaughn, fiance Phil Camarano and his family, grandpas JoJo Gil and Papa Ron Vaughn, grandma Earlene Vaughn, aunt and uncle Cindy and Mel Wilson, cousins April and Nick Wilson and all the many friends she’s had in her life. Because – that’s Courtney.
Services will be held Saturday, November 27 at 2 p.m. at Holy Cross Catholic Church, corner of John Young Pkwy and Deerfield Blvd near Hwy 417.
Donations may be made in her name to Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa.
Published in the Orlando Sentinel on November 26, 2010.