January 7, 2004 by

Hope Stout


Categories: Extraordinary People

hstout.jpgHope Elizabeth Stout was a 12-year-old girl who truly lived up to her name. As she lay dying of bone cancer, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Western North Carolina offered to make one of her wishes come true.
Hope wished for 155 other kids to get their wishes.
On Dec. 19, The Charlotte Observer wrote a story about the seventh-grader. It was picked up by national media outlets, and aired on ABC during last Saturday’s NFL playoff game between the Carolina Panthers and the Dallas Cowboys. The foundation estimates it will take $1 million to honor Hope’s wish. So far, more than $500,000 has been collected.
In June 2003, Hope went to the doctor complaining of persistent knee pain. She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer that strikes children between the ages of 10 and 20. For months, she endured aggressive forms of treatment, including chemotherapy and radiation. Then on Jan. 4, Hope died. The kind, redheaded girl loved kittens, basketball, stuffed animals and cheerleading.

45 Responses to Hope Stout

  1. Stephen Nagler

    I’m Stephen Nagler, Lisa Guerrero’s Producer on the Monday Night Football show. We are indebted to Kevin Donnalley and the entire Panthers organization for making us aware of Hope’s story which we shared with our viewers during the Panthers playoff telecast January 3.
    On behalf of Lisa, our show producer Fred Gaudelli and the entire production team we wanted to express our sadness at Hope’s passing. We hope in some small way our telling this story might have helped to raise awareness and money to help others on the Make A Wish list.

  2. Victor Fichman

    My name is Victor and I’m a volunteer (and webmaster) with Make-A-Wish here in N.C. (www.ncwish.org). Hope’s effect on our organization has been just unbeleivable.
    Literally millions of people from our area, the state, and world shared in Hopes story; and tens of thousands participated directly by giving whatever they had at hand to make her wish come true.
    When the wish first came in we were more then a little nervous. We knew right away what kind of money this would involve – our entire budget for a year or more in fact (we’ve never actually had more then 90 days operating cash on hand at one time). And, we’ve never failed to carry out a wish for ANY eligiable child before either, so we knew there was going to be a lot of emotions, hard, long days involved, and a few of us even thought it might take a good chunk of the year.
    Boy those of us who thought that wrong! The Stout family and Hope dug right in. Then family and friends joined in. A chap named Chuck Coira made contact with the local media and they all really, really came through.
    It was so bitter sweet to stand on the sixth floor in our offices and watch 15,000 people gather in downtown for the Celebration of Hope, where the Carolina Panthers came in the middle of their playoff bid to give and get support from the whole crowd for Hope and themselves. And counting the boxes of money, the ones, fives, tens, even hundreds. Knowing that each one of those came out of an individual hand – a hand brought there in response to Hope and her wish.
    Hope inspired school kids to have dance-a-thons, Indian guides gave up their camping money, someone mailed a $1.00 money order. Thousands ordered “Hope Charms.” One man called and said he was coming up with a one hundred thousand dollar check. I thought he was a prankster, and a bad one at that. He turned up three quaters of an hour later with the check, and it was good!
    We still receiving more of these wonderful donations. And 30 new wishes. So Hope is going to be granting wishes for a little while longer.
    And we love her for it.

  3. Michele

    If I can add the capacity of all the hearts in California, they still wouldn’t add up to size of Hope’s heart. If I ever doubted that Angles walk amongst us, she is proof of grace at it’s best.

  4. Whtiney Smith

    Hope Stout was my neighbor and friend for such a very long time.I’ve known her ever since I was born.When we were about 3 years old, Hope and I would play a game on her trampoline called “Ghost In The Graveyard” Funny thing that it was her favorite game to play with me.I miss her and love her and I know she is missed by millions of others!!MAY GOD BLESS HER ALWAYS

  5. jimmy gaskell

    i read about hope in a magazine article that one of my teachers cliped out.i was doing a POOC (person of out standing character). i then relized that she was an amazing girl with unfortunate condition.she changed the way i look at some things. im so lucky that i chose that article.

  6. Doug Wilson

    I have followed the story of Hope Stout since hearing about her on WBT. From the first time I heard her speak about her wish and learned more about her illness, I have used her as my “hero”, someone that I can look up to as the epitomy of unselfish acts and kindness. She is truly an inspiration to me that invokes a warm feeling that allows me to get through difficult days where being in the public sector can bring you down. I can now say that I have a “hero” to think about, to learn from, and to help make me a better person “going forward”.
    Thank you Hope for being you and being here for us.

  7. Tosh

    Hope Stout died jan. 4th but her sprirt still lives on, i’m friends with her cousin Lauren and well when i heard about her and how kind she was with her wish it made me think how i take things fro granted and theres girls like her out there in the world. hope mightv’e died but her spirit is and always will be with us forever.

  8. Lauren

    I lived in Hope`s neighborhood. My friend and I used to play with her on the trampoline and see her all of the time. She was a loving, caring, girl who cared more about other people. She is a girl who will always be remembered.

  9. Michelle H.

    I live in the same area that Hope Stout lived but I didn’t really know her. A girl from my school was her best friend and I know she was a very good person. Angels still fly in her rememberance of generosity and goodheartedness.

  10. Timothy R. Re

    Although I only knew Hope briefly while she was taking gymnastics classes at Carloina Gymanstics while my daughter was there, I had the pleasure of teaching her older sister Austin and shared many joys and tears over this selfless young girl. We can all learn a lesson about what it means to truly love thy neighbor when we look at the legacy that Hope has left for us. If there was ever an angel fom heaven here on erath , then Hope was that angel.

  11. T Johnson

    Isn’t it awesome that there are still people being affected by this wonderful girl. I was one of Hope’s mentors when she was in conformation the year before she got cancer, and was also one of her leaders at her beloved Rainbow Express camp. I also attend school with her older sister Austin. What an awesome blessing this has been on the lives of so many people. Don’t let this be the end, Hope wanted to leave a legacy, not just a mark for a year or so after her death. Keep her LEGACY alive and as her mom always says March Forth…

  12. Acacia Estep

    Seeing her do what she did realy inspired me. Seeing so many people out there to help support her wish was touching. In school we have a National History Day project, and our theme is taking a stand in history. She may not have tooken a stand in history for the world, but she did for me.

  13. Acacia Estep

    As you know in the blog I posted before, Im doing a national histsory day project. I need help! I’m doing hope stout and I need anyone who knew hope stout and would be willing to do a home visit interveiw to email me.
    thanks so much for your help.

  14. Julia

    hello i´m a german girl and i know not hopes history but i understand it hope was a really nice and strong girl but i´m know, she can see and hear us for ever and i like she greetings to you hope!!!yours sincecierly Julia

  15. Beverly Runyon

    I am from West Virginia and my daughter, Lisa Rotenberry, who lives in Kings Mtn. NC told me about your daughter, Hope, and what a brave little girl she was. My heart and my prayers go out to the family.
    Beverly Runyon

  16. Anonymous

    Hope, we all MISS you and LOVE you. You will always be remembered for everything you have done. You are amazing and greatly looked up to.
    can’t wait to see you on the other side!

  17. Kayla

    I read the book about her that her parents wrote. I cried until I had used a whole box of tissues!!!!!!!!!
    Its called A LEGACY OF HOPE
    Mayor Crying book

  18. Crystal

    I heard about Hope and her family through my friend Kayla. Once I heard about this tragity that happend to her I sort of understood. My aunt Bobby died of cancer because the docters couldn’t help her. Dear God, please help this family with their tragity!

  19. Kathryn

    hi my name is Kathryn I am reading hope’s book a legacey of Hope I have been crying all day this book is so touching it was writen by her parents Shelby and Stuart Stout she is an incrediable girl I wish that I could have known her then I could have told you I was spoken to by an angel! She is very much so an angel she is the most special angel of them all I am sad she left us on Jan 4,2004 I would have loved it if she had beaten the bone cancer! The funny thing I still remember is when hope lefted her shoes at home 3 ties in a row before going to get tested before her byopse that told them she had bone cancer! She would have been a really special person to me if I had known her I think that she is AMAZING he name should of been Garace but it is not so I will call her AMAZING HOPE! I wish more people could know about her and support her caues! If I had cancer my wish would be to give 3 million dollars to the make a with foundation!

  20. Morgan

    Wow!Hope’s story really touched me and changed my life.I ordered her book and it was amazing!I was so saddened by her death.She was a remarkable girl.I wish I could have known her.

  21. Leslie

    I saw an interview with Stuart Stout on the “Hour of Power” and was so moved by Hopes story that I ordered her book. Her story is an inspiration and it renews ones faith in God. I thank God every day in the blessings he has bestowed on me and my family. I plan to have my children read her story and hope it will move their lives like it has moved mine.

  22. Angelica Collins

    I am a 10th grader at Highland School of Technology and I was assigned a simple brochure project from one of my teachers in the school. We drew sticks from a cup and we had topics that we could choose from, and I believe that fate chose me for this story. When I read the Hope Stout story it made me not want to take life for granted anymore. This story made me realize that the small things in life really do matter, and life can be taken from you in a matter of seconds. Although this was really something that I have never experienced, it really did inspire me to be a better person.

  23. Laura Pfef

    Hope went to my youth leaders church. I heard her story so many time beofre he actually moved up here to Philadelphia, and when her sister came up to our church on a mission trip it was the first time I ever heard it in person and it is so much more touching everytime I hear it. When Hopes mom was a our church she shared the story with our childrens ministry group..their whole set up was Hope. I love her mom. She shared stories about Hope and pictures with me and a few friends after our kids club and she was so happy. I cant wait to see her family again.

  24. jessica

    Im a cheerleader and i have the spirit of hope competition today and I know nothing about Hope but from what ive read she is and amazing person and i wish i could be like her i think im going to go get the book

  25. Christina S

    I live in the same town as Hope and go to the same school but i wasn’t able to meet her because I am younger. We bought Hope tshirts and charms from friends in our neighborhood and was so inspired by Hope so i feel like i know her. Just like Hope, i always wanted to be an actress too. Hope’s story is the reason my mom finally let me start acting 4 years ago and now i do movies and commercials. I feel connected to Hope and she inspires me as a person and a actress.

  26. Kourtnee

    Well to start off im a cheerleader and i recently went to a competiton in charlotte and it is called spirit of hope. i have been to this competiton many times and i have heard about her story and it has inspired me intensely. right now in school, my english class is doing a project about what has inspired us the most, well i knew that this had to be what my project was going to be about. I love to hear about this story and continue to pass it on to others who have never heard about this amazing girl and how she has touched my life and the others at my cheerleading gym. she is truly an angel.

  27. Kim Olive

    My daughter and I were at a cheer competition in Atlanta last weekend and Hope’s parents were there. I purchase the book, t-shirt & a couple of other items. I wanted to make sure my daughter could see the impact this little girl had on others. As much as I dislike reading, I could barely put this book down. It is amazing story that everyone should read. If we would all be more like Hope, this world would be a better place. I look forward to the movie coming out.

  28. josephine mcnally

    not a day goes by that i havent thought about this courageous girl her parents should be proud. after i read yhe book it brought me to tears and i felt like i knew hope. god truly has an angel with him. i also pray for the stout family everyday.

  29. Jan

    this girl touched my heart…she’s a real warrior and a real hero for the children that she granted the wishes…a great model for all the kids who’s losing hope ryt now. This girl made a BIG diff. in my life…too bad she didnt get to ee her dreams cum true but im sure though that ryt now shes smiling up there in heaven beside God…WE LOVE YOU HOPE u really are a brave woman-Keep your HOPE alive!!!-

  30. Kylie Poss

    I was amazed when I read A Legecy of Hope. I am a competitve cheerleader for Thomson Competitive Bulldogs and I bought this book in Febuary 2008 at Nationals in Atlanta, Georgia. I met Hope’s parents and all. They had a photo alubum of pictures of Hope and their family. They even had Hope’s cheerleading outfit and the blanket set out on a table. I know it had to be hard during Hope’s battle with cancer. A real sign of hope is Pudge. I absoulty love cats, and I know what cats can do when your going through hard times. I bet there even better when you go through harder times like these. I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a real uplifiting time when I would sit in my room and read the book. I already have my friends wanting to read the book! Just by telling them basically the first chapter they already “got into it.” I am proud to be a cheerleader and I know Hope was too. I can’t wait until the movie comes out!
    –♥– ~*~Kylie Poss

  31. Amy

    I just finished the book “Legacy of Hope”! I bought it after moving to Charlotte NC, right around where hope lived. I cried threw out the whole book. A mother of 4 and I just couldn’t imagine this happing to our family. The stout family is truly an inspiration. I am lending my book to my two older children to read. I can’t wait either for the movie to come out!
    My children give to Make a wish foundation – their allowance! Thats what its all about, giving to others!

  32. hannah Brown

    Hope inspired me so greatly, when i read her book and saw all the signs god gave her family of hope i wantd some also and every where i go i always see hope’s name and i wonder is god trying to tell me something because what i asked him to do he did now what do i do, see her name everywhere, what’s the message but i think it is i just need to have more hope. Every day i dream about her wonder about her purpose on this world and her death shouldn’t be a sad moment but a happy one because she’s gone to a better place where pain doesn’t exist and no worries and I’m glad she doesn’t have to suffer anymore and she can just watch over her family in heaven and wait for all of them to be reunited. It would be great honor to meet her family because they gave her great wisdom and hope. I’ve never heard of a 12 year old so intelligent as she was and since i saw that book and read i cant keep my mind off her and i feel her presence all around..

  33. Haley McKinney

    Wow. I knew hope personally. I knew her mother better though, even today. Me and my cousin raised over $500 in one day trying to raise money for make a wish. I think that if people give in money or support, they have a heart of gold because they are helping a sick child’s wishes come true. That shows your true person.
    God bless,

  34. Carly

    I live in Queensland, Australia and have just finished reading Hope’s story written by her amazing parents. Being a mother of four healthy children I have just prayed with tears pouring down my face that my children will never have to suffer as Hope did. Hope and her parents have touched so many lives across the world.

  35. Anonymous

    Hope is an amazing role model as any of you know Hope would be a senior in high school and woud be turning 18 March 4th i have had the amazing honor of meeting her wonderful and brave parents i have also had the honor of reading the book it is very inspirational i am only 14 and Hope has shown me giving up something for others is the best thing you could do my teacher was also just diagnosed with cancer and she has been extremly inspired by Hope, Shelby, and Stuart Stout’s amazing story
    Thanks Hope you are such a miracle and blessing for everyone..

  36. anonymous

    I cheer at carolina allstars. I go to the competition spirit of hope. it was named after her. when i went to it my first year of cheering i cried and it inspiried me. why cant we all give up our lives for 1 hr and help someone else for a change. Why cant we think about something else besides makeup or sports or anything else and think about kids that are sick and help them. Hope was an amazing girl. God took verry good care of her. He worked in her and put on this earth so that she could help the 155 kids that she did. She truly inspired me and if she was alive today i would travel 20 hours or 60 hours whatever to speak to her. FOr 1 minuet it would be worth it. God bless you and i hope you all do well:)

  37. mackenzie!!!!! :)

    ok i went to the spirit of hope cheerleading compition last weekend , i met hope’s parents bought a pair of shorts and went trough one of her scrap books and came across a page of cheerleading photos of her…. she went to my schoool and was a cheerleader as i am. her story touched my heart as it has also touched many…
    keep believing and hope is truly always in my heart as anyyone this speacial and kind deserves to be…

  38. Lauren Roberts

    I’m Lauren Roberts. I am a cheerleader for Cheer Dynasty, and I always go to the competiton titled, “Spirit of Hope”. I always cry at the video they play. it it SO touching. I read the book Mr. and Mrs. Stout wrote for their blessed baby girl Hope. I highly encourage everyone who gets a chance, to read Hopes Wish. Best book of my life. I ended up doing my SOL (Standard of Learning) test for school on hope. We were assigned a 5 paragraph essay on someone we admired most. I truely believe Hope ELizabeth Stout was the most incredible human to ever walk on this earth, and will always be in my heart forever.
    If Stuart or Shelby Stout ever happen to read this, I would like you to know, I think you both are awesome and so is your beautiful daughter Hope.
    -Lauren Elizabeth Jeanne Roberts.

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