Destiny may be gone, but never forgotten

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CROSSVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Destiny Keathley's battle against brain cancer ended on Wednesday night.

The 11-year-old girl who we've come to know over the past few weeks took her last breath at home in Crossville.

It's a loss felt around the community, especially her school, North Cumberland Elementary.

Destiny's homeroom teacher, Misty Goss, says the hardest part of the day was walking into class and seeing Destiny's empty desk, knowing she won't sit there again.

But with a smile, she added, she'll never forget the memories of Destiny left behind.

"She was a part of every child's life here. There was not one child you could say that she didn't touch," said school principal Michelle England.

No one wanted this day to come.

"You've gotta be strong for the kids, but you're trying to deal with your feelings yourself," said her homeroom teacher, Misty Goss.

All three sixth grade teachers went to Destiny's home to comfort her family, and drop off the scrapbook dedicated in her memory.

"Talked about some funny things with her, and some of the funny things that Destiny had done. The strong person that she was and just how she impacted all of us," said Goss.

Most heard the news before they walked into class. But Destiny's boyfriend Matthew, who visited her on Wednesday, had no idea she was gone.

"He didn't know until we sent Ms. England in to tell him. And that was pitiful, he had no idea. He came in thinking that he was going to see her today, and that didn't happen," said sixth grade teacher Katie Reed.

"He not only held her hand all day yesterday, he kissed her on the cheek and reminded her again and again how much he loved her but that he was beside her every minute," said sixth grade teacher Summershea Shadden.

Destiny's mom told the teachers the night of the ball, just three weeks ago, was the highlight of her life. That's how she'll be remembered, as the queen of the ball.

"It's always about being strong and being a fighter and never giving up, just coming in everyday and putting a smile on your face," said Goss. "She'll never be forgotten, absolutely never."

Destiny's visitation is set for Friday from 6:00 until 8:00 at Antioch Baptist Church in Clinton.

That's where her funeral will take place on Saturday at 1:00.

She will be laid to rest afterward at Asbury Cemetery in Knoxville.

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