GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Doctors recommended Alyssa Gale-Mitchell terminate her pregnancy five years ago, when they discovered she had a rare and aggressive form of cancer called Accute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (A.L.L.).
But she refused, and underwent chemotherapy before later giving birth to her second son, Scott, the one she called her "Miracle Baby", because the pregnancy allowed doctors to catch the cancer in the very early stages. Her mother, Melissa Gale, tells FOX 17, "She was thankful that she got cancer, because it showed her the true blessings in life.
"She loved everybody. She never saw flaws in anybody. She only saw the good."
On November 24, Alyssa died at age 26.
And on Saturday, a memorial was held for her at Gold Avenue Church in northwest Grand Rapids. Alyssa's family says she always put others before herself, and had made peace with what was to come, fighting to the very end. Her sister, Alexis Corlew, says, "She was there to listen. She's the one I told everything to."
Just a few weeks ago, a group held a fundraiser for Alyssa in Wayland. Supporters used the #TeamWarriorAlyssa moniker to reflect her fighting spirit.
"She was so loving and she would talk to you," recalls Corlew. "And she would love you, and she would laugh with you, even if she didn't know you. She would always make sure somebody was okay. She could tell when something was wrong; and she was such a fighter. And I really admire that."
Another sister, Nicole Trout, sums it up this way: "She was loved. Very loved by everybody."
Alyssa's son, Scott, is a living testament to that.
-FOX 17's Rebecca Russell contributed to this story.