"Hamilton" star Miguel Cervantes and wife Kelly Cervantes are planning to host a "Celebration of Life" for their daughter Adelaide on Sunday, a little over a week after the 4-year-old girl passed away amid her battle with epilepsy.
All are welcome to attend the celebration, both Miguel and Kelly Cervantes tweeted, which will be held in the Winter Garden Room at the Harold Washington Chicago Public Library, located at 401 S. Plymouth St.
The event will begin at 10 a.m., with doors opening a half hour before. The Cervantes family asked that all attendees wear their most colorful attire to honor Adelaide.
Adelaide passed away on Oct. 12, her family announced, weeks after she was transitioned into hospice care during her battle with epilepsy.
Kelly Cervantes posted on social media on Oct. 13 that her daughter had passed away "peacefully" and surrounded by loved ones.
“The machines are off. Her bed is empty. The quiet is deafening. Adelaide left us early Saturday. She went peacefully in my arms, surrounded by love. Finally, she is free from pain and seizures, but leaves our hearts shattered,” Cervantes said. “We love you so much Adelaideybug and forever after.”
In a letter posted late last month on her "Inchstones" blog - chronicling Adelaide's life with epilepsy and their family's journey after her diagnosis - Kelly Cervantes revealed that her daughter was transitioned into hospice care.
"In May, after a brain MRI, we received confirmation that Adelaide’s brain was smaller than it was in December," Kelly Cervantes wrote, calling her daughter's condition "neuro-degenerative."
"The word that has haunted us from our earliest days on this journey, our worst nightmare, has come true," she continued. "There is no cure and no way to reverse it, her brain is deteriorating and we can’t stop it. When we received this news, Miguel and I were still determined to fight and do everything we could to provide her with the best quality of life available to her, but several events over the course of the summer changed our position."
Miguel Cervantes may be most widely known for his starring role in Chicago's production of the hit Broadway musical "Hamilton," but he and his family have emerged off the stage as some of the most vocal and passionate advocates for raising both awareness and funds for epilepsy research.
The couple has championed the cause since Adelaide was diagnosed with a severe form of the disorder, characterized by seizures, in 2016 at just 7 months old.
Kelly Cervantes has documented her family's journey with weekly blog posts for more than a year, even as Adelaide's health declined.
"We realized we had to listen to what her body was telling us and, last month, we shifted our goals from improving her health to keeping her as comfortable as possible," Kelly Cervantes wrote on Sept. 27, adding that there was no way for her family to know how long Adelaide would have left.
Speaking to their daughter, Kelly Cervantes wrote, "You have been stronger than me every step of the way."
"I’ve allowed myself to be comforted by denial asking you to wait until I’m ready. Though, I realize now, I’ll never be ready and even more so, that the timing is not up to me," she continued. "You’ve been fighting for your life for so long and I can see now that you are tired. It is my turn to be the strongest... and let you go."
"As we make this transition I will be trying to understand what you want and need to keep you as comfortable as possible," Kelly Cervantes wrote. "Please forgive the extra pictures and videos I’ll be taking, I know I’ll want to hold on to all the memories I can. It’s the things I can’t capture that I will miss the most: the way you smell, and not just after a bath, but your sweet, 'just you' smell. The feel of your forever baby soft skin and how tightly you squeeze my fingers even still. The way your hair feels when I run my fingers through it trying to comfort you and the weight of your body against mine in those rare moments when you let me snuggle you."
Miguel Cervantes shared his wife's blog post on Twitter, writing, "my wife and I have been happy to share our story of love & pain & struggle over the past few years as we have fought for & with our baby girl to try to make a difference."
"Sometimes even the hardest love & the strongest fight isn't enough," he added.
After Adelaide's death, Miguel Cervantes tweeted that he, his wife and their son Jackson were "doing ok" and "comforted knowing there are so many people sending positive vibes."
"We are seeing all of it," he wrote, thanking supporters.
The couple has been active with the non-profit Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) and the Epilepsy Foundation – who emphasize that one-third of all epilepsy patients in the U.S. don’t respond to current treatments, meaning more funding for research is desperately needed.
"I promise you, my angel baby, that your efforts, your fight, your life will not have been in vain," Kelly Cervantes wrote in closing her letter to her daughter. "We will take the eternal lessons you taught us and continue to plant your seeds in the hearts of anyone who will listen."