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Celebration Turns into Sadness in Small KS Town after Girl's Death

Parade Turns into Vigil after Kansas Teen Dies

MULVANE, Kan. (AP) — A parade planned in a southern Kansas town turned instead into a vigil after a 15-year-old girl died before she could return home. Residents in Mulvane decorated Main Street yesterday (TUE) to welcome home Taylor Heersche, who had battled leukemia. The town rallied for four years to support Taylor and her family. But Taylor died at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City just hours before she was scheduled to go home. Taylor, a sophomore at Mulvane High School, was diagnosed with the leukemia in May 2008, when she was 10 years old. Her mother, DeAnne Heersche, told The Wichita Eagle that the disease returned last December in a genetic mutation that couldn't be cured. Services are Sunday at Central Community Church in Wichita, with a private burial Monday.