LITTLE AXE, Okla.--Walk into the Cornerstone Indian Baptist Church in Little Axe on a Sunday morning, and you’ll find a pastor who feels extra bless just to have his daughter sitting in the pew.
Rachel Scott’s family knows her as a laughing bundle of energy.
You can see her at Native American dancing competitions, on the soccer field, or cheering with her Little Axe squad.
But in 2015, Rachel’s parents knew something wasn’t right.
"In august of 2015 she started having migraines, which we just thought were allergies” says her mom, Cynthia. Her dad remembers “They were out shopping and Rachel was just sitting on the floor, and she loves to shop and do those girl things, and she told her mom she couldn't make it."
She was too tired for anything she loves, but months of doctor’s appointments just couldn’t put a finger on it.
"Rachel was one of our challenging patients” Says pediatric oncologist Dr. Ashley Baker. “We saw her in clinic about one month before we were able to diagnose her with leukemia."
Rachel’s case is a reminder that cancer leads patients and their families down dark, uncharted paths.
Baker says “Rachel has a more aggressive A-L-L so she gets more aggressive chemotherapy."
"Good job sweet girl" says the clinic nurse, encouragingly as Rachel goes through her standard blood-work.
Nine months of aggressive chemotherapy are almost behind Rachel now.
She moves between exam rooms at Jimmy Everest Cancer Center with the help of a walker.
The treatment has affected nerves in her legs, but it’s a side effect that should disappear with time.
Her mom says "The chemo has been hard on her, we've been on the hospital more than most people."
And Rachel’s ordeal has in some ways reversed the role her family plays as pastor and family of their Baptist congregation.
“Now because of Rachel's condition we've had to switch and we've had to receive lots of help," said Bryce Scott.
Rachel also had to adjust to home school, and has traded basketball for new hobbies such as painting and art.
But hope unfolds like a flower in this family.
This social girl was all smiles on a hot September day recently for a celebration of young cancer champions at OU Children’s Hospital.
Her father said it best during his Sunday sermon. “I mean God is in control of every situation of everything that happens in our life good or bad."
With her clinic visit finishing up, the nurse tells Rachel "Sister, you're all done."
One more clinic visit is over, and Rachel is one step closer to a life cancer free.
Rachel has two and a half years of maintenance chemotherapy ahead of her, but she’ll be able to return to school in a few days.
Her family estimates medical costs are close to one million dollars, but between their insurance and community support, they say most of their medical costs have been taken care of.
A major goal of the Jimmy Everest Center is helping these courageous Oklahoma kids beat cancer without having to leave home.
Please consider donating to cure cancer in Oklahoma’s Children.