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‘They’ve been gone for 6 months:’ Community welcomes home 8-year-old who ‘beat cancer for the 3rd time’

Brinley Jungnitsch

Brinley Jungnitsch

LINDEN, Mich. — 8-year-old Brinley Jungnitsch had been in Memphis, Tennessee for the last six months — fighting cancer for the third time. At just 4, Brinley was diagnosed with leukemia in 2015 — the diagnosis taking her across the country for treatments. On Friday night, Dec. 20,  firefighters, police, neighbors, and family helped guide her home.

Just before 9 p.m., the Jungnitsch family turned on to their street in Linden for the first time in six months. Waiting for them was a street filled with a cheering squad, including several fire departments and officials with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

“They’ve been gone for six months,” said Tom Evans, a family friend. “She’s beat cancer for the third time, and so we’re welcoming her home, and we’re extremely excited to have her back here with us for the holidays. It’s a Christmas miracle. We can’t say how much we appreciate everybody for showing up and showing their support.”

As the family pulled into the driveway, they saw another surprise gift — holiday lights decorating their home, put up by those supporting them in their fight.

“To have so much support and so much love for her…” said Jessica Jungnitsch. “I’m so proud of her that she just inspires so much. Like, she just brings so many people together from all over, and she’s just awesome. Everybody is awesome. This community has been awesome since we went back to the hospital — the schools, everyone.”

Brinley and her family just found out they’d be able to go home and spend the holidays in Michigan, and they said there was so much they were looking forward to — being back home.

“She’s been in the hospital since May,” said JessicaJungnitsch. “So I don’t know. It’s going to be great sleeping in our own beds tonight, see all of our friends and family.

“And my boyfriend!” said Brinley.

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