We can all agree cancer is one of the most feared words nobody ever wants to hear.
But unfortunately, it seems like everybody is affected by the word in some way during their lifetime.
FOX 21’s Dan Hanger sits down with the Long family of Duluth whose daughter, Morgan, died Friday after an 18-year fight with cancer.
It's a celebration of her life and the lessons she taught others on how to live.
"She was very sassy, sarcastic, but in a really fun way that made people smile," Molly Long explained when describing her daughter, Morgan.
There was something special – even angelic – and surely spunky about 19-year-old Morgan Long.
"She was very direct and she would just say it exactly how it is and we would sometimes wonder, oh no, what is coming out of her mouth next because you just never really knew exactly what she was going to say,” Molly explained with a laugh.
And that unknown is exactly how it went just months ago when Morgan’s doctor told her cancer would be taking her life soon – after a fighting the fight for nearly all of her life.
"She turned around and she looked at him and she said, well at least, Dr. Wetjen, I don't have to have one of your haircuts ever again,” Molly described Morgan’s joking to the doctor about the many times she lost her hair from chemotherapy.
Morgan’s mother Molly, father Steve and brother Steve Jr. all say they’ve learned incredible lessons about life through Morgan’s strong determination and possible outlook on her own life.
"She was curious, she wanted to travel. She wanted to do different things. And just because she had cancer, she didn't want that to get in the way of her life,” Molly said.
"She's looked up to me and I've always looked up to her,” Steve Jr. said.
Morgan graduated from Denfeld High School in 2015 and finished her first year in college – two huge accomplishments for a woman who went through countless surgeries and was told she’d only live to maybe see her 5th birthday.
"She went to rehab. She learned to walk again. She learned to speak again. So we were blessed with her for an additional 15 years that we never thought we would have with her,” Molly said.
And now, as the Long family prepares to say their final goodbyes, they’re realizing even more than before just how big of an impact Morgan’s life had on every single person she met.
“I think she affected everyone and kind of gave everyone an appreciation on what it is to be a live and to love people,” Steve Jr. said.
“She's an amazing lady that has beaten a lot of odds many years and people have recognized that and she did a great job for the life that she's had,” Steve said.
“You can't change the situation you are dealt, but you can change the way you react to that situation and that is part of the medicine,” Molly said.
Morgan's visitation is Wednesday, Oct. 12 from noon until 2 p.m. at St. Lawrence Church.
The church service follows.
But this won’t be your typical service because Morgan asked for a requirement before she died that said everyone must wear very bright, happy colors or converse shoes.
If you’d like to help the family with medical and other costs related to Morgan’s death, click here for her GoFundMe page.