LAMAR, Colo. - The Town of Lamar, Colorado said goodbye Thursday to 14-year-old Janea Aguilera, who won everyone's hearts with her brave two-year battle against cancer. Last weekend she got her final wish: her big brother took her to the prom.
She died less than 48 hours later.
"Losing a child is a parent's nightmare and I cannot put into words the grief that Melony, Josh and I are feeling," said Tim Aguilera, Janea's father.
Years before her public battle against her disease, she was well known as the first baby born in Prowers County, Colorado in 2000.
Then, as a teen fighting cancer, Janea's strength inspired her friends and neighbors.
Even in death, she brought people together.
Nearly one-third of the town showed up for her funeral.
"She was a good person and she brought this community together," Josh Aguilera, Janea's brother, said.
Janea was first diagnosed with osteosarcoma two years ago, at age 12.
"I always tried to take care of Janea and protect her, but when she was diagnosed it was difficult to take because it was out of my control," Tim said.
His daughter underwent several surgeries and treatments, even losing a leg to her ailment. She knew, sadly, that her time was limited.
"She had made her own bucket list and the prom was number one," Josh said. "So then I said do you want to go to the prom with me? And she thought I was kidding."
"She started crying and then I started crying," he continued.
Two days later, Janea had a red dress and Josh donned a tuxedo.
Crowning her Cinderella dream, Janea was voted princess of the prom.
Less than 48 hours later, she passed away.
"I love you Janea," her father said. "You will always be in my heart."