From the outside, 15-year-old Arabella seems like your typical teenage girl. She’s a straight-A student, loves the color blue and has quite a passion for soccer.
In July of 2014, she noticed an abnormal lump on her neck. After visiting a doctor soon after suspicion, young Arabella was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma; a cancer that starts in the immune system.
This illness compromises the body’s ability to fight infection—but this didn’t stop Arabella’s fight to stay strong.
Arabella has always dreamed of visiting Australia one day in hopes of hiking mountains, interacting with wildlife, surfing and experiencing a change of culture. As you can imagine, we were determined to make her wish come true!
When Arabella and her family flew out to Australia, little did they know they were about to have the experience of a lifetime. First, she visited Cairns, Australia. Here, she snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef, fed fish and observed and interacted with all the underwater wildlife! She also went on a wildlife preserve tour where she held a Koala bear and baby Alligator.
Next, Arabella visited one of Australia’s largest cities, Sydney! She hiked and had lunch up in the beautiful Blue Mountains, walked and toured the city of Sydney and learned to surf, which was by far her favorite. The duration of her trip overlapped New Year’s Eve, so it was definitely a plus to see some amazing fireworks as an end to a great year!
Although Arabella spent four, long months in chemotherapy, she’s been in remission since October of 2014. She now plays on the junior varsity soccer team at her high school and is happy to be back to a somewhat “normal” life.
Arabella is tremendously courageous. “She has never let this define her,” said her mother. “She’s very strong and always has been, but even more so now.”