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Renae L. Proskovec

Renae L. Proskovec
January 13, 2005 -  February 11, 2020

Renae Proskovec, 15, of Fremont, NE, passed away on February 11, 2020 after a long battle with leukemia. She died with her family by her side, surrounded with love.

Renae Lynn Proskovec was born January 13, 2005, in Fremont, Ne., to Jim and Sandi (Martens) Proskovec. From her early months of life, she was befriended and taken care of by many wonderful teachers, schoolmates, and staff members at Fremont Public Schools. She also had many amazing supporters in the community who rallied around her Relay for Life team, “Rock-and-Rollin’ for Renae,” which raised significant donations for cancer research. Everyone who met Renae adored her great sense of humor and silly attitude, her open-heartedness and big hugs, and her love for Disney princesses, Barbies, coloring, and the color pink.

Renae was born with Down syndrome and was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2008 when she was three years old. She underwent chemotherapy and was in remission for almost ten years. In January of 2018, the leukemia relapsed, and Renae underwent chemotherapy at Children’s Hospital in Omaha, followed by a breakthrough immunotherapy treatment, Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, which she underwent at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. The leukemia went into remission for several months but relapsed again in October of 2018, when she underwent a second round of CAR T-cell treatment. When that therapy was ineffective, she received a bone marrow transplant with cells from her older sister, Lexi, in February of 2019. By May the leukemia went into remission, but it relapsed again in June. Further treatments at Nebraska Medical Center provided her with several more months worth of playing, traveling, and parties. She benefited immensely from the fantastic care and incredible skill of devoted medical professionals throughout the many phases of her brave battle.

During a break in her treatments in July, Renae enjoyed a whirlwind tour of her favorite vacation spots, including Adventureland in Des Moines and Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City. Her family also made the 22-hour drive to and from Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, so that Renae could ride the “It’s a Small World” ride she had loved watching in videos on her iPad for years. She rode it a total of eight times over two days at the park. With the gift of a little more time from additional therapies, she was able to start her freshman year at FHS, make a return trip to Disneyland to see the park decorated for Christmas, and celebrate her 15th birthday with her friends at the Amazing Pizza Machine.

Renae is remembered most for helping people live their best lives by bringing more fun, jokes, color, “pranks,” ice cream, one-liners, nicknames, dance parties, joy--and so much more love--into the world.

She was preceded in death by her grandpa, Larry Martens. She is survived by her parents, Jim and Sandi Proskovec; sisters Lexi and Katie; grandmother Sharon Martens; grandparents Jim and Jeanne Proskovec; aunts and uncles Jason Proskovec (Brooke), Jeremy Proskovec, Susan Martens (Ian), Steve Martens (Stacy); cousins William, Henry, and Samuel Martens; and a large extended family.

Visitation will be held on Friday, Feb. 14, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at the Ludvigsen Mortuary Chapel, 1249 E 23rd St, Fremont, NE. A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 10:30 a.m. at First Lutheran Church, 3200 Military Ave. Pastor Scott Jensen will officiate. Guests are invited to wear pink, orange, or bright colors to celebrate the things Renae loved. Memorials may be directed to the family.

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