McDONALD, Pa. (KDKA) — You’d never know by looking at her that 16-year-old Nicole Stewart is battling cancer.
The junior at Fort Cherry High School sang the “Star Spangled Banner” alongside her chorus-mates on Friday before the start of the Fort Cherry-Chartiers Houston game, one of the school’s biggest rivals.
The game took place during senior night, a night she didn’t want to miss.
“It’s amazing. I don’t have words for it. I’ve never felt such warmth in my heart,” Nicole said.
Nicole is fighting Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She was diagnosed three weeks ago. The game was called a “Purple Out,” which stands for support in the fight against Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
“Stage two in the diaphragm. Only small tumors instead of one big tumor, so easily treated,” Nicole’s mother, Donna Stewart, said.
“It’s hard because there’s nothing I can do for her. It’s out of my hands and up to the doctors,” Nicole’s father, Wayne Stewart, said.
Nicole is undergoing chemotherapy at Children’s Hospital, but she’s keeping a positive attitude. Her friends who are fellow majorettes, helped put the fundraiser together, raising money for her medical expenses.
“Nicole is a great support. She’s involved in a lot of things in the school. She does a lot for us, so we want to do a lot for her,” organizer Emily Richard said.
“She’s been amazing through all of it and I can’t be more proud of her. She found out and she came and told me. I was a mess. She said listen, it’s fine, you can’t worry about it,” Nicole’s best friend, Megan Cottrill, said.
“I don’t really realize how much my friends are there for me until they’re there for me. It’s crazy,” Nicole said.
“It’s wonderful. Unbelievable,” Donna added.
Several sports teams are also helping the Stewart family. The Steelers and Penguins both had baskets at the fundraiser. If you’re interested in donating, you can mail a check to:
Fort Cherry High School
110 Fort Cherry Rd, McDonald, Pa. 15057
Attention: Andrea Garry, Majorette Sponsor