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Tuckey Family Shares Journey With Four Diamonds

“I am a wife, a daughter, a sister, and an aunt, and I am a mother.”

On August 27, 2011, Bekah was less than a week away from her first day of kindergarten. Her mother Katherine also received a call from the pediatrician that day, telling her Bekah would be admitted to Hershey Medical Center immediately based on abnormal lab results.

As the family walked down the hallway, they stopped at the Lion statue for a blurry photo — what Katherine now calls the last moment of the Tuckey family’s “old normal.”

“Every time a doctor or a nurse came in for one thing or another, I had to tell her it was okay,” Katherine said. “But was it? Is any of it okay?”

After 799 days of treatment, Bekah beat leukemia. A year later, then in third grade, she relapsed.

“[These kids] are resilient, but they are broken,” Katherine said. “When Bekah relapsed, cancer took her spirit, it took her laughter, it took her drive.”

The Tuckeys didn’t have an old normal, but Katherine said they were inspired by the support of their families, friends, communities, and now the movement fighting against pediatric cancer, which of course includes THON.

HEAL, an acronym for Help Every Angel Live, was paired with the family. Even when Bekah wasn’t able to attend THON, alumni and members of the organization gave the Tuckeys “a full house.”

“I call them our HEAL rose because they have done more than they could possibly know as far as getting me through this journey,” Katherine said.

Although Bekah decided not to speak, Katherine left the crowd with her favorite quote from Rocky Balboa:

“The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa is a senior public relations major and the managing editor of Onward State. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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