Today I would like to introduce you to Hillary, a courageous teenager with a wonderful spirit who also happens to be a patient at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Her story is one of several that we're featuring on the TODAY Show as part of our annual Thanks and Giving campaign, and it's a great story about dreams coming true.
Hillary is a gifted young girl who loves to dance. She is an award-winning clogger who has won three national awards and three regional competitions with her clogging team. For Hillary, her lifelong dream has always been to one day dance with the Rockettes.
But there were days when it seemed like Hillary's dreams of dancing might have to be put on hold. St. Jude has treated Hillary for two unrelated cancer diagnoses: B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), which was diagnosed in 2008, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which was diagnosed in October 2011. St. Jude has found only two other patients in the world who fit this exact medical description, but despite the double diagnosis, Hillary never gave up hope.
Recently, Hillary completed treatment at St. Jude for her non-Hodgkin lymphoma and her dreams of dance are as bright and strong as ever. Throughout it all, she has kept on dancing, practicing her college dance team moves while living in St. Jude housing. She's also a gifted speaker and skilled performer whose story illustrates the power of perseverance.
Last week, Hillary got to realize her lifelong dream with a trip to New York to meet her idols, the Rockettes. Personally, I think Hillary's strength and spirit are simply amazing. You've got to love a story about a beautiful survivor who keeps on kicking.
If you find Hillary's story inspiring, please consider donating to St. Jude's.
Singer Sheryl Crow plays guitar for St. Jude patient Kennedi.
Here I am dancing at Markell's off chemo party!
Dog petting day at St. Jude!
Dog petting day at St. Jude.
Singer Gavin DeGraw with St. Jude patients Chase and Ellie.
Singer Michelle Branch with St. Jude patient Haley.
Singer Sheryl Crow enjoys cupcake decorating with St. Jude patient Mia.
With my brother Tony at the unveiling of my Dad's statue at St. Jude.
Follow Marlo Thomas on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MarloThomas