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East Ridge student Haering loses battle with leukemia

East Ridge High School senior Ann Haering, of Woodbury, died Feb. 20 at the University of Minnesota Medical Center after developing a blood infection due to complications from her battle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Bulletin file photo.

Ann Haering's fight has come to an end.

The East Ridge High School senior, and Woodbury resident, died Sunday, Feb. 20 after her battle with leukemia. She was 18.

"My best memory of Ann will be when she could just be herself in between when she was sick," said Samantha Greeley, an East Ridge senior and friend of Haering's. "I'll remember when she could just have fun with us."

Haering's fight had been a roller coaster for the past four years.

She was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on Feb. 6, 2007, when she was just an eighth grader at Lake Junior High.

Her diagnosis ultimately ended her once-promising soccer career as a forward for the Woodbury Soccer Club's U-14 Premier program.

Greeley, who played soccer with Haering, said Haering's initial diagnosis was a shock for everyone.

"We didn't think anything like that would ever happen," she said.

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a form of leukemia, or cancer, of the white blood cells characterized by excess lymphoblasts.

After nearly two-and-a-half years of chemotherapy, Haering was in remission and was able to return to a typical high school life, however that remission was short lived.

On April 28 of last year, the leukemia had returned.

Last fall, Haering was at the University of Minnesota Medical Center recovering from bone/blood marrow transplant and subsequent complications.

On Jan. 24 Haering was admitted to the in-patient intensive-care unit at the University of Minnesota with a serious blood infection.

Haering's family could not be immediately reached for comment. Funeral information was not immediately available.

Memories of Ann

Greeley, who became friends with Haering back in junior high school, said some of her best memories of Haering will be getting together and having fun.

"We would just do silly stuff," she said. "We would just hang out and be kids."

Greeley said she will always remember Haering.

"I'll always remember how much of a good person she was -- she was always there for you no matter what," she said. "I'll always remember how selfless she was -- I could always count on her."

Another of Haering's friends, Nikki Soler, said she is going to remember the little things about Haering -- her wit, her spunk, her sweetness, but most importantly her strength.

"She was super strong," she said. "Everyone was inspired by her."

Soler said Haering had a profound impact on everyone who knew her.

"I think Ann's changed a lot of people for the better," she said. "She taught everyone to appreciate the little things."

Soler said it is going to take some time to cope with Haering's death, but she also said she believes that everyone will be able to help each other through it.

"We're all going to miss her -- no one is going to be able to fill that void," she said. "Since everybody cares about her so much, it's going to help us all get through it."

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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