Alyse Zabel's struggle is over

Alyse Zabel, left, rides in the Ripon High School homecoming parade last fall.

Pastor Mike Holba sent an email to members of the Ripon Community Church family informing them that Ripon’s Alyse Zabel has died.

“God literally took her as we were praying together for her deliverance,” Holba wrote. “Alyse is now with Jesus and enjoying her new and perfect life in eternity!

“Her family is doing well. Please continue praying for them as they go through this next step in their journey. Our efforts to support them now need to be re-doubled in the days to come, but please hold off on offering your assistance until we best know what they need.”

Holba informed members of the church family that he would let them know when he learns of the details “of Alyse’s ‘life celebration party.’”

Community members have followed the story of Alyse’s diagnosis and subsequent struggle with childhood leukemia for almost four years. She was diagnosed with the disease on Thanksgiving 2007.

Last December, Alyse’s family notified dozens of Riponites via email that “According to medical science, Alyse’s leukemia has returned ... and is incurable. God’s intervention is the miracle she will need.”

Alyse had become a bit of a public figure over the past few years since her diagnosis.

The community has held fund-raisers, and updates about her condition have occurred regularly over the years.

The community celebrated together in June 2009 when Alyse gave the keynote speech at the Relay for Life, telling everyone, “My name is Alyse Zabel, and I am cancer free.”

In a cruel irony, only a couple months later doctors told the family she no longer was in remission.

Since that time, students in the Ripon Area School District have rallied to support Alyse, who would have been a sophomore at Ripon High School when school starts tomorrow (Thursday).

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