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Childrens Hospital honored several former patients

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The Ellis County Press

DALLAS – Childrens Hospital celebrated Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Friday, Sept. 11 by honoring several former patients who are now cancer survivors by hosting a photo exhibit reception.

Lancaster resident, Jericka Jenkins was among the few honored who defeated Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of cancer causing abnormal growth of cells in the lymph system.

"We looked at the inspiring then and now stories of our survivors and see how much they’ve progressed," said Outreach Manager Cristy Ecton.

At 14, Jericka was diagnosed with cancer after noticing a "knot" near her collarbone and went in for a checkup.

"April 15, 2005 is a day I will never forget," said Jerickas mother, Jerica Jenkins.

"Immediately after we found out, we begin to pray. Nothings too hard for God."

Jericka said she asked God for strength to persevere through the battle that was ahead of her.

Lancaster basketball coach Beverly Lockett said Jericka was a team player even through her illness.

"She never had a down day, said Lockett.

"She never missed a day, and while she looked weak she never let it get it her."

Jericka went through six treatments of chemotherapy and three weeks of radiation, causing hair loss, but that didn’t stop her.

Jericka was put into remission and was pronounced cancer free in 2007.

She is now a sophomore at Hampton University with a full basketball scholarship.

"We want everyone to know childhood cancer has progresses with cure rates over the last 60 years," said Ecton. "There is now a 20-80 percent survival rate. It’s also important to know our survivors have come a long way and have a long way to go."

Jericka is only one of many survivors with an inspiring story of hope and strength.

"Yes, there are some survivors who have lost either a leg or wear hearing aids," said Ecton, "but these are some of the same people who have gone off to college, raised families and now look towards the future."

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