Tyler Student Thanks Classmates For Support During Cancer Battle - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/11/06-Flint

Tyler Student Thanks Classmates For Support During Cancer Battle

12-year-old Rebecca Hoffman is quite an opponent in the board game 'Sorry.' But she faced a bigger match-up when she was just a toddler, battling cancer for the first time. "It's A.L.L. Leukemia and she had it when she was two years old," says Rebecca's mom, Kathy. She was cancer-free after two and half years of chemotherapy. But the leukemia would return ten years later. "I was in denial," says Rebecca. "I didn't think you know it would ever come back." That was last April and she would go through grueling chemotherapy treatments that doctors say failed. Her only chances lied with getting a bone marrow transplant. Doctors found a perfect match. "It was amazing! I was like whoa! it's very uncommon. It doesn't happen like that ever," says Rebecca. Mom, Kathy, adds, "That was September 13th and they call it her birthday, because it was a new beginning for her." While getting her transplant in Ft. Worth, she also found strength in what was happening at her school in East Texas. J.R. Moore Middle school students rallied together to collect soda tabs for the Ronald McDonald house, where Rebecca was recovering from treatment. "It has just gone non stop! We have people from everywhere sending us tabs," says Rebecca's former teacher leading the collection Barbara Hendrix. "I was kind of surprised, I was like 'wow, that's cool!," says Rebecca. She can't personally thank her classmates yet. She can't return to school until August. It's a day she looks forward to, so she can feel like a normal kid again. "People cared about me, you know. They didn't forget me," says Rebecca.

We're happy to report Rebecca is now cancer free. During her time away, J.R. Moore Middle School collected 70 gallons worth of tabs thanks to the students and KLTV 7 viewers who saw our story. The Ronald McDonald House collects them, and the money given in exchange will help a family in need staying at the house. Moore Middle is still collecting tabs until the end of the school year.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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