St. Clair High School teacher Dorothy Derrow has enlisted the help of students to make her Pay It Forward Challenge a reality. Their plan is to hold a "coffee house" benefit to raise funds to help a family with a daughter suffering from a rare form of cancer.
Maddie Trudel has been suffering from Ewing's sarcoma bone cancer for over a year. She has been through multiple rounds of chemotherapy, surgery to remove a tumor from her ribs, and a stem cell transplant. After all these treatments, 7-year-old Maddie went into remission—but it was short lived. A few months later, Maddie came down with what they thought was a virus. Tragically, what looked like pneumonia turned out to be compacted tumors in her right lung, right kidney and 3/4 of her liver. The cancer was back with a vengeance.
Doctors started treating her with radiation, which ended up providing some relief—however, the tumors continued to grow. The cancer metastasized in her spine and she now faces paralysis from the ribs down. "She doesn't want to die. She wants to be a teenager," says her dad, Paul. Unfortunately, doctors don't believe Maddie will make it to Christmas.
Watch as Paul speaks to the students about his daughter.
"Everybody's living a normal life, everything's good and the next thing you know, you get cancer," Paul says.