A terminally ill teen was escorted by a pro rugby player to her last school dance.
A school formal is a big moment for any young woman, but for Hannah Rye it was something she could have only dreamed of.
The teenager from Mount Vincent in the Hunter has a terminal cancer. Hannah is a cancer survivor. Several years ago she was diagnosed with the rare Ewing sarcoma, an aggressive form of tissue cancer that attached itself to her spine. After treatment, Rye went into remission for 6 months… but on May 15th she received tragic news. The cancer was back.
Soon after Hannah’s diagnosis, her mother Racheal said: “Hannah started dancing this year and she started to get a sore back just before the July school holidays.
“Originally, we thought she had just pulled a muscle and there appeared to be a small knot in her back so we just started massaging it and the pain would come. But it progressively got worse.”
This time around, the cancer was incurable. Doctors gave the 15-year-old Rye, a very short time to live. According to the timeline they set, she would be much to sick to attend her 10th year high school formal.
In order for Rye to be able to join the event, the administrators of the school decided to move the high school formal up one month after they heard about her situation. But they weren’t the only ones to step up and give the vibrant young girl the night of a lifetime.
Hannah was diagnosed with aggressive cancer Ewing’s sarcoma in 2015 when she was 13. In her first battle with cancer, Rye was part of a program called Tren7’s Kick For Kids, the brainchild of famous rugby player Trent Hodkinson. The 29-year-old rugby player spent lots of time with Rye while she was in the hospital, and the two developed a wholesome bond.
When Hodkinson heard that Rye’s cancer was back, he decided to put on a snappy blue suit and escort the young woman to the big dance. Hodkinson arrived at Hannah’s house before the formal and then they travelled to the event together.
Rye’s entire class was waiting for the duo as they pulled up the event space in a fancy car and walked the red carpet together, arm in arm.
“He’s the sweetest man, and we love him,” Rachel Rye said of Hodkinson.“Tonight has been unbelievable and we’ve just seen so much love for Hannah. She’ll never get another moment like this, and it’s pretty special.”
Words can’t describe the joy that Rye felt that night, but we can all learn from it. Knowing that her life is drawing to a close, she chooses to face every day with a positive mindset and a heart full of hope.