Mother visits garden in honor of daughter's fifteenth birthday - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Mother visits garden in honor of daughter's fifteenth birthday

Judy and Olivia in 2010 Judy and Olivia in 2010

Judy Nolley spent Wednesday remembering her daughter who lost her battle to brain cancer in 2010. Today would have been Olivia Nolley's fifteenth birthday, so Judy paid a visit this morning to the garden made in memory of her daughter at Grace Community School in Tyler.

"For me, the garden symbolizes how much the school meant to us during her illness," Nolley said.

Nolley says her daughter had no symptoms of cancer prior to doctors discovering her illness.

"It was malignant, stage four and very fast growing. She lived for a year and then she went home to be with the Lord," Nolley said.

Nolley says the school surrounded her daughter with love and support during the year she lived with brain cancer.

"Olivia captured the hearts of everybody at school through the way she so bravely dealt with the illness," Grace Community School Head Master Jay Ferguson said.

Jay Ferguson says in 2011 the original plan was to make the garden for science and nature.

"We were beginning to raise money for it when Olivia got sick. A bunch of us got together said it would be awesome to name it in honor of Olivia because she had touched all of our lives in so many ways," Ferguson said.

Nolley says the butterflies in the garden were a way to capture her daughter's traits and things she loves. She says if she were here for her fifteenth birthday she would be outside enjoying them and spending time with friends.

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