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Brain Cancer Claims Life of Long Valley Teen

Glenn Lightner, 14, died Wednesday after battling disease for five years.

After a five-year battle with brain cancer, Glenn Lightner died Wednesday morning in hospice care at Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Center, according to a friend of the Lightner family.

Lightner was 14-years-old. He loved playing basketball with his friends and was a Memphis Grizzlies fan. He was set to finish the eighth grade in June 2013.

The Long Valley teen was diagnosed with anaplastic ependymoma grade III brain cancer in December 2007. He underwent numerous treatments, from chemotherapy to radiation therapies and multiple brain surgeries throughout the years-long battle.

Earlier in 2012, Glenn and his family decided, after more than four years of battling the disease, to search for alternate treatments abroad.

A stumbling block for the family, however, was the cost it would require to have their eldest son treated in Germany and Belgium. .

The following months showed a community effort the likes of which had never been seen in Long Valley, as fundraisers for the family propped up all over town, from lemonade stands to dinner events with silent auctions.

The amount of money raised eclipsed $135,000, all of which went toward Lightner’s lodging and treatments in Europe. Some progress was made with the treatments, but it was a new laser surgery procedure that would erase tumors on the teen’s brain that became the biggest breakthrough during the summer.

The combination of laser surgery at Robert Wood Johnson and treatments abroad resulted in a clear, tumor-less MRI of Lightner’s brain in August. It was the first MRI of its kind for Lightner in three years.

Just a month later, however, six tumors returned, and the teen’s health gradually worsened.

Go here to learn more about Glenn Lightner's journey.

"We are all deeply saddened here at WTS having learned of Glenn's passing this morning," Washington Township Schools Superintendent Jeff Mohre said in a statement. "Glenn brought so many gifts to so many lives and we will miss him dearly as we hold fast to, and honor, the memory of a beautiful human being. Our education family expresses heartfelt sympathies, caring thoughts, and unyielding support to Karl, Lawrence, Sylvia and the entire Lightner Family. The loss of a child is eternally painful and Glenn and his family will remain in our hearts and prayers forever."

A public viewing will be held for Glenn Lightner Saturday, Dec. 15 from 4 to 8 p.m. at St. Mark's Church on Spring Lane. Interment will be private, according to the William J. Leber Funeral Home.

Kristina Cunningham December 12, 2012 at 02:21 PM
God Bless the Lightner family. Glenn is now at peace, cancer free and playing basketball with the most glorious team of angels.
stacie bohr December 12, 2012 at 05:39 PM
God bless Glenn and his family. The legacy that Glenn has left for our family and for so many others we know is that our community will do anything for one of our sons. His illness was not in vain and will have a lasting impression on us forever. Glenn made us better people. Our deepest sympathy and prayers are with the Lightner's through this time.
Peace December 12, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Thoughts and prayers to the Lightner family. May Glenn rest in peace.
Mrs.C December 12, 2012 at 06:09 PM
My sincere and deepest sympathy to the Lightner family. Glenn fought a hard battle and is now at peace in Heaven. May God bring healing to his family and friends.
treacy December 12, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Prayers continue for you, Glen and your family's healing. God bless you all.
eva gomes December 12, 2012 at 07:50 PM
I'm very sorry for your loss may you rest in peace little angel my prayers go to you and your family... . .Eva
Jennifer Schilling December 12, 2012 at 08:08 PM
God bless Glenn and the Lightner family
Cathy December 12, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Praying for strength to the Lightner family to help get through this difficult time. So sorry for your loss.
Randy Grauerholz December 12, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Our prayers and sympathy to the Lightner family. Glenn fought a brave battle with his family and community behind him. Please take comfort in knowing that your community will continue to support you during this difficult time.
christine horbelt December 12, 2012 at 09:59 PM
May God give the Lightner family strength to cope with this loss; Glenn was a wonderful boy ...I remember him fondly from when he bought lunch at BAC Cafeteria. He is at peace now.
DXJ December 12, 2012 at 10:19 PM
So sad. Our hearts go out to Glenn’s family and friends who affirmed in so many ways that Glenn was loved greatly and will be missed terribly. RIP
grace stampf December 12, 2012 at 11:31 PM
So so sad...... May he rest in peace. I so feel for his family. My conodolences and prayers go out to them.
Ashley Kucevic December 13, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Glenn was truly an amazing human being. I am very heartbroken by this news. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Stay strong <3
badabing December 13, 2012 at 12:53 AM
As humans, we are just incapable of understanding.... My God Bless
Valarie Moore December 13, 2012 at 12:53 AM
My deepest sympathy and condolences to the Lightner family. They raised a brave and beautiful young man. May they always feel his love and presence.
Tracy Lazorchak December 13, 2012 at 01:48 AM
As a parent, I feel such sadness for the Lightner family. As a Christian, I know that Glenn now rests his head on the shoulder of our Heavenly Father. Glenn will never be forgotten. May his family continue to keep their strength as our community continues to keep that wonderful boy's spirit alive in our hearts. Another angel got his wings today. God bless you Glenn. Rest in peace.
Collin kustera December 13, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Iwe will all miss Glenn very much I was heart broken when I herd this morring RIP :(
MTSO December 13, 2012 at 08:33 AM
The Lightner family are in my prayers.
Janen L. Ardia Broker RE/MAX Heritage Properties December 13, 2012 at 12:02 PM
Thank you, Patch, for sharing this with us. So many of us have been praying for Glenn and the family. Continued prayers for peace in the hearts of the Lightner family....
Kelly December 13, 2012 at 01:04 PM
He fought a hard battle and now is in God's arms in heaven. May this strong spirited and courageous young man rest in peace.His story has left an indelible mark on mine and many lives here in our community and has taught me to always press on and never give up. Fly with the angels Glenn...you have certainly earned your wings.....
Jennifer Simon December 13, 2012 at 01:14 PM
What a brave battle Glenn and his family fought. I am so sad that such an incredible spirit is no longer among us. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. May you rest in peace, Glenn.
Schooley Squatch December 13, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Glenn's courage was truly inspirational. The outpouring of support from our community reflects just how wonderful a young man Glenn was, let's continue to support in his honor. My Family's thoughts and prayers are with Glenn and his Family.
Liberty December 13, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Condolences to the Lightner family. May they have peaceful hearts knowing Glenn's suffering is over and he is at rest.
cv December 13, 2012 at 03:33 PM
May this wonderful child who was taken to soon rest in peace.
Brenda Brown December 13, 2012 at 06:46 PM
My deepest condolences for the family.
Jersey December 13, 2012 at 07:17 PM
My husband and I were heartbroken to read of Glenn's passing. Our deepest condolences to his family and friends.
C. Moore December 13, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Rest in peace Glenn. My sincerest condolences to the Lightner family. Bless you all for fighting the good fight. You remain in my prayers that you may find comfort in the difficult days ahead. Death be not proud.
Jill Jacques December 15, 2012 at 02:50 PM
I think they mean the breaking news is that he passed, not all the other information.
MMH December 15, 2012 at 04:43 PM
My thoughts and prayers go out to this family. Glenn was a brave and beautiful child. We need to stop and say a prayer for Glenn and his parents. And say a prayer to find a cure for childhood cancer, which takes the lives of 20% of children diagnosed. Please support this cause whenever and however you can. God bless you Glenn for never giving up hope and for the joy you brought to the family that will always love you and never forget you.
rich deo December 17, 2012 at 12:50 AM
As an adult with a brain tumor [non hodgkins lymphoma] treated and cancer free last year, my sincerest sympathy to Glenns' family. I am sure they will always have the support of everyone. God be with Glenn he is at peace now.

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