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Casey leaves community with good memories

Stephanie Long
Emmitsburg Dispatch

(9/6) Casey Bly, the Thurmont teenager who captured the hearts of so many, passed away August 17 following a battle with cancer, but his memory continues to live on as many in the area remember him as wonderful, brave and a great friend to everyone.

Hundreds of community members turned out to celebrate Casey’s life at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church and honor the young man who touched so many in his short life and taught them what is truly important.

“God used Casey to flip our lives upside down and inside out and reprioritize our lives,” said Reverend K. Craig Moorman.

Casey was remembered by those at Duke University Hospital and Georgetown University hospital, where he received treatment, as a funny kid, who was a privilege to know and who “made it through with dignity.”

The sentiments that were shared are echoed in blog entries Casey made on his blog that he kept throughout his battle with cancer. Documenting his daily on goings at the hospital and his treatment, Casey kept often blogged about his love of video games and visits from his family, friends and his girlfriend Olivia Fretch, the love of his life. Despite his circumstances Casey never wrote angrily of his experience, but remained positive, even after finding out his cancer had returned.

“It just so turns out that a lot of stuff has happened since the last time that I blogged. For example I graduated and walked across the stage first to receive my diploma which was very nice. But then the very next day I had an appointment in Georgetown clinic where they did just a normal routine bone marrow biopsy checkup type thing and the found that my leukemia has made a reoccurrence so I got admitted immediately the day after I graduated. I’m not back into remission yet but the doctors here at Georgetown University are trying their absolute hardest to knock me back into remission as fast as they did the first time,” he wrote on his blog, remaining positive.

A nurse who spoke at the memorial service said “It is amazing how much Casey was able to affect people he didn’t know.” What is even more amazing is Casey’s life continues to affect people. A video was posted on youtube.com a week after Casey passed away, which honors Casey’s life. The friend who made the video wrote, “I have made this as a tribute to such a strong kid. He had cancer and battled it pretty well…He had so much support from everyone. He was brave and will always be remembered.” Over 3,200 people have viewed the video, many of whom never met or knew Casey, yet they are affected by him.

There is no doubt that Casey’s life will continue to affect people and that he will be remembered as he should be, as a young man who was strong and brave in the toughest of times. Now that he has passed on we must “carry Casey’s torch” Moorman said.