By Morgan Bryce
Opelika High School senior Carly Parker passed away last Thursday night at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham due to complications caused from a 10-year bout with cancer.
Carly, daughter of City Engineer Scott Parker and his wife Miki, was diagnosed with Mesenchymal Chondrosarcoma in 2007.
In the years following her diagnosis, Carly faced several recurrences of the disease, which required operations and numerous rounds of chemotherapy.
Despite her medical issues, Carly managed to express herself through her artwork and in portraying Opelika’s female mascot, ‘Lika’, leaving an indelible impression on not only her school, but the entire community.
“The Opelika High School family is saddened to hear about the loss of Carly Parker. There is no question that her impact on our school and community will be felt for years to come,” said OHS Principal Farrell Seymore in a statement Friday. “Her example of courage and commitment to excellence was an inspiration to us all. She was a wonderful student, a gifted artist, and an integral part of Opelika High School. She had a special way of making others better by her presence. We ask that everyone keep her family in their thoughts and prayers.” Others shared their thoughts and prayers for the Parker family via social media.
“Praying hard for the family, friends, teachers and classmates of Carly Parker. What a fighter. What a champ,” said Opelika resident Kate Larkin.
“You, my dear, have been a huge inspiration for me. No matter the obstacles, no matter the pain, you lived life. You loved good conversation and laughing. I feel very honored to call you my friend. I know every day wasn’t an easy day for you, and I’m sure there were days you secretly wished for a different life,” posted family friend Adam Fralich.
A funeral mass celebrating Carly’s life was held at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Auburn Monday.
In lieu of flowers, the Scott family requests that donations be made to Camp Smile-A-Mile or the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders.