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With Ethan’s death, Powell family focuses on cancer fight


Sixteen-month-old Ethan Powell, whose battle with leukemia was tracked around the world, died of complications April 5 at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
Services were conducted April 12 by Jerry Hodge, minister of the University Church of Christ in Shreveport, Tenn., the family’s home congregation.
More than 500 people attended  the “Celebration of Life” and listened as Ethan’s parents, Ben and Becky Powell, spoke. After the services, hundreds of blue balloons were launched from the church in memory of the baby, who was a “favorite”  at the hospital, Hodge said. The family asked people to wear blue because of Ethan’s blue eyes.  
“Ben and Becky showed tremendous resolve and faith through their entire ordeal,” said Hodge, who married the couple.
Ethan was diagnosed when he was 2 months old and flown immediately to St. Jude’s Hospital. His parents moved to Memphis, where they have lived for the past 14 months taking care of Ethan. University church members contributed to help the family financially throughout their stay in Memphis.
The Powells desperately searched for bone marrow donors and asked for prayers for their ailing son daily through their Web site. Powell announced Ethan’s death on the Web site, www.ethanpowell.com, within the hour.
“People from all over the world kept up with Ethan’s fight for life through his father’s daily Web site updates,” said Hodge. The Powells frequently ended their updates about Ethan’s condition by urging others to BeLIeVe – with the “little e’s being for little Ethan,” as Ben Powell put it.
During the past 14 months, more than five million unique hits from people in 29 countries logged on to the Web site, which was designed by Powell, a professional web designer. Many of them wrote to the family about their prayers for Ethan. The day of his death there were 83,000 hits on the site.
The churches in Memphis were “incredible” to this family, Hodge said. 
“Within a week after they arrived, the church had delivered three truckloads of stuff for them.” Hodge said.
Ben Powell is working to transform Ethan’s prayer Web site into an information site for a foundation named after the baby boy.
“With your help, we can stop a killer… CANCER!” Ben Powell recently wrote. “Please pray for the Cure and please pray for Ethan’s Foundation… BeLIeVe… PRAYER WORKS!!!

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