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Lacey Girl, a 'True Fighter,' Loses Battle With Cancer

The Lacey Township School District is offering grief counseling for students and parents on Wednesday and Thursday

Grief counselors will be available for students and parents Wednesday and Thursday after student Anastasia Kopack, 10, lost a battle with cancer today.

“On behalf of the entire Lacey Township School community, we are grieving the loss of our student Ana Kopack,” Superintendent Dr. Sandra Brower said. “Our heartfelt sympathies are extended to Ana’s family and friends during this very difficult time.”

Kopack was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer, in March 2011. She traveled to St. Christopher’s hospital in Philadelphia often for treatments and recently underwent surgery.

Grief counselors will be available at Mill Pond School from 3:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

There have been countless fundraisers held for Ana from the Hebrew Park event in June and Zumba at the Lanoka Harbor School in March to a Medieval Tea Party in September.

Ana’s father Robert Kopack previously described his daughter as an “amazing kid” with a “great smile.” He also said she was “strong and has a great attitude." 

"Ana is a great student and friend to all," Lanoka Harbor School Principal Rosemarie Bond previously said of Ana. Despite the challenges, she remained positive and focused on getting well, she said.

The profile on Ana's Facebook page said, "I am awesome! and...I love dogs."

Facebook has blown up with comments in remembrance and honor of Ana. People are remembering her as strong, an inspiration, special, a true fighter, a bright shining star, a princess, a beautiful person, brave, sweet, a truly amazing soul and a warrior. 

Below are some of the comments people are saying. Please return to Lacey Patch for more stories on Ana in the upcoming days.

Please feel free to post your memories in the comment section of this story as well as upload photos of Ana.

If you knew Ana or met her for the first time she would melt your heart. Ana made me stronger each and everyday we spoke. She was my inspiration and always will be. Ana you are so loved and always will be and I promise you we will have that picnic one day we talked about. -Karen Crawford Norton

I remember her coming into my job with her Mom always wearing a beautiful smile! You have touched a lot of peoples hearts Ana! You are a true fighter! Rest in Peace! –Barbara Summa

You were the most beautiful person I ever met. You were so strong and always smiling every time I saw you. You made me smile and made me forget about the pain I was in. You were so brave. I will never forget your smile. -Pamela Vitale Patterson

Another angel has gone to heaven today…Ana from the many times I have met you, I can say that you have truly inspired me. You were such a strong and sweet little girl who always had a smile on. You‘ll be forever missed by your friends and family. –Patty Keene

This world recently lost an amazing little girl. A girl who could put a smile on anybody’s face, no matter what she was going through. She was one of the strongest little girls I will ever meet. Truly an amazing soul. Rest in peace Ana. You will be missed. -Renee Elizabeth Matzarazzo

Ana, she was always beautiful since she was a baby. She kept me going through the worst times of my life. She helped me through so much and I’m so proud of her. She changed my perspective on so many things. She is an angel now. She lost the battle but won so many hearts. She’s beautiful and not a day will go by that I will not remember her. She is my hero and I’m not afraid to say it. -Rachel-Lynn Inglis

Rest in paradise. You were a true fighter and left behind a great legacy for such a young age.  –Kaylee Koskie

I am so thankful that I had the chance to be in the same school with a very brave little girl who fought a huge fight and was such a warrior. We are all so blessed to have known Ana and will keep her alive in our hearts forever and ever. We have all learned so much from her. She had so much hope and courage.  –Tammy Wall

Joe September 26, 2012 at 09:58 PM
God bless Ana and her family
B.Ross September 26, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Gorgeous and stron girl! Never met her but from all everyone has told me and posted, I wish I could have the courage and strenght she had! God bless her and her family and friends
makemyday September 26, 2012 at 10:11 PM
My prayers go out to the Kopack family. So sorry for your loss. May Ana rest in peace.
Elaine Buzzeo September 26, 2012 at 10:42 PM
I pray your family finds strength. Our hearts go out to you. The Buzzeo Family.
Kelly lynch September 26, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Prayers for Ana and here family.. RIP Ana
Pamela Michelle September 26, 2012 at 11:06 PM
So sorry for your loss, stay strong! Rest Easy <3
Lynda Walizer September 26, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Our hearts and prayers go out for her and to her family - The Walizer Family
Lindsey Prosser September 26, 2012 at 11:45 PM
R.I.P Ana you will be missed and my heart goes out to your wonderful family
Dawn September 26, 2012 at 11:46 PM
I heard her story through friends. A brave beautiful girl! My heart goes to her Family and her Friends!
Sarah September 26, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Aww she was such a sweet girl :'( God bless her and her family <3 Anastasia Kopack will always be in our heart forever :')
Debra September 27, 2012 at 12:07 AM
We are heartbroken our thoughts and prayers go out to the Kopack family Hugs to all RIP Ana- The Eayre Family
victoria sierra September 27, 2012 at 12:35 AM
ana i have known you for eight years and not 1 fighti will miss you so muchi know when i die i know you will be waiting for me and when i see you and i will hug the air out of you
Nancy Cron September 27, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Kopack family. May the good lord give you the strength to get through this most difficult time. She's at peace now and truly an Angel. Our deepest symphathy, The Cron Family.
Val Bravo September 27, 2012 at 02:21 AM
We didn't have the pleasure to meet Ana in person but we heard about her, She touched our hearts today,and our prayers and hearts go out to her family we are sure that She is up there with God in special place with all the Angels cause she is one of them. Our deepest condolences, The Bravo Family.
Kathleen September 27, 2012 at 02:23 AM
My thoughts and prayers are with you ,there is no greater loss then the loss of your child god bless.Fly with the angels sweet girl
Tara September 27, 2012 at 02:32 AM
God Bless Ana and her family and friends. Our families thoughts and prayers to all of you at this very difficult time.
just me September 27, 2012 at 04:09 AM
I don't kmow this family personally but my heart aches for the loss of such a young girl with a beautiful spirit. God bless you and comfort you as you grieve your loss. I believe Ana will live on in the hearts of those who had the priviledge and honor of knowing her and her spirit which is no longer suffering will surround those who cared for her. Rest in peace.
Silver dollar September 27, 2012 at 04:20 AM
Bob, Fran & Sons Our hearts and prayers go out for you . Stay strong God bless you . Bill& Pat
Linny September 27, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Another angel has left us but her spirit will be with us all and will be watching over us. God Bless Her and her whole family..
GeriAnn Fracasso September 27, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Saw you in church many times and even when the sun wasn't shining outside a bright light was coming from you beautiful smile!!! God bless you and rest peacefully in your new home. Prayers to the family as a sweet angel watches over you...
ndnchic September 27, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Prayers go out to family and friends. God called her and said come with me child were there's no more suffering n pain. She's an angel watching over us now.
JOHNNY Done it September 27, 2012 at 02:13 PM
God bless her family give them the strenght to make it thru this...Ana is my hero .I would hope to have the will she had Rest in peace Ana
Judy Bendar September 27, 2012 at 04:27 PM
I remember the day dear Ana was born. She alway had a smile on her cute little face. I'll always remember how she smiled up at my son as he was holding her. She kept the same wonderful spirit all through her recent trying times. Love you so much, Ana. You touched the heart of everyone who knew you.
Forked River Mom October 02, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to Ana's family, friends and anyone who knew her. Life is too precious. Hold the ones you love close and don't take anything for granted. This family has a long road ahead of them and my heart is heavy for them all. RIP Ana!

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