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Make-A-Wish: Meet Haylee

Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 11:51 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Valley News Live is teaming up with Make-A-Wish for its “Miles for Smiles” drive tomorrow, where you can donate your airline miles to help make dreams come true. We’ve been meeting area “Wish Kids” all week, and tonight, a teenager from Rugby, ND is sharing her experience with Make-A-Wish.

Last year around this time, Haylee was far from a North Dakota winter. She had her toes in the sand in the Bahamas.

The trip was a welcome break from months of chemo and radiation. At just 14-years-old, the active, healthy teenager received a shocking diagnosis of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

“I was hunting with my grandpa, and I woke up and my neck was really big. I didn’t know what it was, so my mom took me in on Monday. By Wednesday, we were already on our way to Roger Maris, so it was really fast,” says Haylee.

From then on, the Rugby family spent weekends at Sanford and Mondays at Roger Maris in an effort to shrink the lymph nodes swelling around Haylee’s heart and lungs.

At Atlantis though, none of that mattered. Haylee got to swim with dolphins and stingrays. Another highlight for her was getting to sit in the cockpit of one of the planes the family flew in.

Next year marks two years of Haylee being cancer-free. Her message to all of us is to never give up, and take it day by day.

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