About Ally Baier
All about Allison "Ally" Noel Baier
Cancer was her kryptonite. But it did not define her.
There's so much to tell about our favorite superhero and Harry Potter-lovin' girl!
It can all be summed up by her own words: "I refuse to give up. I am always happy to talk to other kids and teenagers who are going through cancer so they don't have to go through this journey alone."
First of all, and probably most importantly, she almost always wore a ball cap. Her most recent favorite was a Superman cap that everyone who knew her saw her wear.
Second of all, in the world of Harry Potter, she was definitely in the House of Hufflepuff. If this means nothing to you, it's time for you to fully jump into the Harry Potter books. (We have found lots of comfort in quotes from Dumbledore after Ally passed.)
Crazy socks! Crazy, fun, knee-high socks. Almost ALWAYS worn. Our favorite pair - if we are forced to choose - is her Superman socks with a little yellow cape that waved from the back of the socks. One day, a kid approached her and asked, "Are you the girl known for her crazy socks?" Ally proudly replied, "Yes, I am!"
Her best friend and very favorite person was - is - her mother Crysta. The two share a bond uncommon for most 15-year-olds with their mothers. And she adored her dad Rich (and he very lovingly returned the favor - calling her "Sweet Pea" and "Ally Cat.")
"GIRL POWER!" Ally was quite the vocal feminist. At an earlier age, her family heard her often bragging "we don't need boys!" (That statement definitely excluded her dad, brother, grandfathers, uncles and nephews.)
Ally adored her brother Joel. And "adored" might be an understatement. Everyone knew how much she loved and respected him. When he went to Basic Training, she sent him letters, prayed for him and bragged about him to everyone she knew. To this day, many of us believe that Ally fought cancer (even harder than we realized) so that she could attend his Basic Training graduation. That day, she was struggling and she couldn't walk independently. But she made it there and was incredibly proud of her big brother. What she might not have known is that Joel adored her too. He has stated that he admired her strength and courage during her battle against cancer. And he misses her terribly.
Ally had a very dry sense of humor. Her favorite joke to tell: "Do you want to hear a political joke?" "Yes." Ally's response, "Donald Trump!" While we do NOT want this to be a politically motivated site, you have to understand the humor in the fact that Ally told that joke all the time. To the same people. Who knew the punch line. But still laughed. (This aunt would pay big bucks to hear that joke again from Ally.)
She LOVED learning! Because of her love of learning, helping others and a ton of respect for her mother, Ally aspired to be a teacher. Ally's mom was a high school English teacher who later became an elementary school librarian and is still changing lives to this day through her work. Ally used to tell Crysta, "I know you're the best teacher ever!" Ally was considering being a Spanish teacher. She has two aunts who are teachers and one aunt who is a speech pathologist. Ally came by her love of helping and teaching naturally. She was very active in her school's Future Educators of America program. She mentored other students for this program. And her love and commitment to that program led to a partnership between Olathe East FEA program and the Kauffman Foundation's Ally Project.
Like most kids, Ally loved Minecraft. She also loved loud music and singing in the car with her mom.
Ally often said, "I'm going to kick cancer's ass!" Her tribe allowed her to cuss regarding this statement. Ultimately, she did not win. But Ally is very competitive and we'd like to believe that in a few ways, she DID win. Glioblastoma is intense. A diagnosis of Glioblastoma typically means the person has about 12 to 18 months. Ally remained positive, fought it hard and we were given over three years with her after her initial diagnosis, several surgeries, chemo, radiation and more. In July 2019, a scan revealed there wasn't much time left. She was given two to four weeks. She was told there was nothing more that could be done and the Baiers were sent home with the phone number for Hospice. Crysta called on her family and friends to surround Ally with love. It was like Gotham's Batman sign was blasting in the sky........ the Ally League found a doctor ready for the challenge and several other options. After weighing those options, the Baiers chose to treat this "head on" to give Ally as much quality time and love and happiness as possible. Even after a two-to-four week diagnosis, Ally was blessed with ten more months of her amazing life. The bulk majority of that time was good and happy with very little pain.
Her two best friends, Emma and Sophia "Fia," were a part of her life from a very young age. Fondly coined "The Three Musketeers," both girls were with Ally every step of the way during her battle against cancer and even before that. Both girls were with Ally, reading her a Harry Potter book, when she passed. Crysta told the girls, "You read her to Heaven." We all know this is true.
Moments after Ally passed, there was a shared feeling of Ally's powerful presence over her home and neighborhood, loving and protecting her family and friends. This presence is still felt when in the Baier house. Ally isn't here. But she's very much here.
Why are we shocked that cancer finally won? Because EVERY time Ally took another cancerous blow, she battled back. She fought and fought so intensely that it was very easy to feel - know - never doubt - truly believe that she would conquer it. That the tumor would come back and she'd beat it. Then another tumor. Ally BOOM! That this pattern could continue on indefinitely because of her strength and determination to win. Even in her last few weeks, many of us were waiting for an Ally resurgence. That's really what it was. She would be down and out for a few weeks then come back like Rocky fighting that big, scary Russian guy. Or, in Ally's terms, Superman fighting Zod and his cronies. Marvel v. DC. Or Harry battling Voldemort.
But here's how cancer DOES NOT WIN. The Ally League. Ally. Us. Her tribe. Remembering her always. Acts of Ally Kindness. Leaving the world a better place than we found it. Making sure her initiatives continue on long after she is gone. Keeping The Ally Project alive. Funding FEA. Sponsoring Saint Andrew Youth Group. Walking for Head for the Cure. Donating instruments to Band of Angels. Supporting Ronald McDonald House. Loving and helping other kids with cancer.
It is undeniable.... some of the epic adventures Ally had in the last three plus years were tied to her battle against cancer. Healthy kids don't get a "Make a Wish." Glioblastoma-free kids don't get to hang with the Kansas City Royals and be in their calendar. Cancer-free kids don't often inspire non-profit initiatives. All of that is true. But at the end of the day, Ally would have changed the world with or without cancer.
She has now handed the torch to us. To make a lasting difference in this world. For her. For us. For the Baiers. For everyone. Ally League: You can't save the world alone. Ally has inspired a movement that will forever live on.
We find enormous comfort that Ally now has wings (or a badass cape with crazy socks) to soar through the clouds. To hover over us all, loving us, protecting us and keeping watch over Crysta, Rich and Joel.
Cancer was her kryptonite. But it did not define her.