Tyler ISD student battling cancer: 'If I didn't have my faith, I - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Tyler ISD student battling cancer: 'If I didn't have my faith, I don't know where I would be'

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Bre'Shauna Washington and her mother and principal Bre'Shauna Washington and her mother and principal
TYLER, TX (KLTV) - One Tyler Independent School District student is inspiring others, even in the midst of of a battle with cancer.

Twelve-year-old Bre'Shauna Washington attends Boulter Middle School and is a member of the cheerleading squad, student council and the Advancement Via Individual Determination program. She also helps raise and lower the flags on campus every morning and afternoon.

Two years ago, Bre'Shauna began experiencing shoulder pain that continued to get worse. At first, her doctors believed the pain was just sore or strained muscles. Then, her face began to swell and doctors began to fear something else was going on. A chest X-ray revealed a large mass in her chest and doctors diagnosed her with lymphoblastic lymphoma, a blood cancer mostly found in children.

Bre'Shauna underwent a year of intense chemotherapy. She had to be in complete isolation from her family and friends. She also ended up missing all but one week of the fifth grade.

The aggressive treatment seemed to work at first until last month, when tests revealed another mass in Bre'Shauna's chest. When doctor's delivered a hard prognosis, Bre'Shauna decided she didn't want to miss another year of school to receive more chemotherapy.

“I knew I needed to get back to school and that I needed to get out of the hospital if I wanted to move on to the seventh grade,” Bre’Shauna said.

“Bre’Shauna is 12 years old so I want her to have input in her medical decisions,” Tyronda Sherfield, Bre’Shauna’s mother, said. “She decided she did not want to go through such intense treatment again and she has faith that God will heal and restore her.”

On March 17, Bre'Shauna was sent home with only a few days to live. She was also given an oral chemotherapy and a steroid regimen. Just three days later though, she was feeling better and back in school.

“When we returned on March 28 for another chest X-ray, the tumor had shrunk so much that doctors are now optimistic that it will continue to shrink. If it continues to shrink it will add more and more days to her life,” Sherfield said.

Her faith and joy for school have kept her positive through all the hardships Bre'Shauna has had to face over the last two year.

“It is awesome to be around friends and doing school work and being a normal kid,” she said. “School has helped me this year both physically and mentally to get myself in order, focused and organized to get to the higher level of where I want to be. And if I didn’t have my faith, I don’t know where I would be now.”

Although her future is uncertain, Bre'Shauna has learned that she can be strong in times when all she could do was cry.

"I feel stronger and I want to beat it," she said.

“Bre’Shauna has had such an impact on her fellow students and the staff here at Boulter,” Principal Rodney Curry said. “We all realize that what we complain about is nothing compared to what others are going through. Seeing her faith has increased our faith.”

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