Fearless 5-year-old passes away in Ralls

Reese Griffith was 5 years old (Source: Family Photo)
Reese Griffith was 5 years old (Source: Family Photo)
Reese Griffith at 2 years old (KCBD File Photo)
Reese Griffith at 2 years old (KCBD File Photo)

RALLS, TX (KCBD) - Sad news from Ralls, Texas, tonight.

That's where we profiled a sweet little girl during our Community Coverage Tour in 2011.

Remember Reese Griffith? She was the 2-year-old who never met a stranger - literally, because she was missing the genetic make-up that tells us to be fearful.

Immediately after meeting her, she said to me and my photographer, "I have a birthday party. Can you come? Can he come?" Reese would gladly make any stranger a friend.

But there was a much bigger concern for Reese that ultimately took her life on Wednesday.

Reese had Williams Syndrome, an arterial disease which forced her to have open heart surgery a month after she was born. Children with Williams Syndrome are born without elastin, which allows the arteries to be flexible and expand. So, eventually, they become stiff.

You might remember the walk for Williams Awareness, in which her parents, Jeremy and Emilie, raised $5,000 dollars for the National Williams Syndrome Foundation, thanks to all the support from Ralls and other communities that rallied around this effort.

Little Reese died yesterday while playing in a t-ball game.

Her dad, Jeremy is now Principal at Ralls Middle School.

Judging by all the wonderful prayers on her behalf on Facebook now, what he told me years ago is even more true today:

"God put us where we need to be. We couldn't ask for a better community to support us and to love Reese."

Jeremy Griffith expressed his gratitude on social media Thursday night, saying, "We grieve the passing of Reese, but we are able to get through because of the support we are receiving. I hope that in my life, however long I live, I can make even half of the kind of impact on people that Reese was able to do in less than six years."

"Not a day will go by in my life where I don't think of her, but she's not sick anymore and she doesn't have to be tired ever again," Griffith said.

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