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May 2, 2013

Dream comes true for Athens teen

Make-A-Wish Foundation sending Athens Christian Prep student to Australia

Athens — Skylar Beck, 15, of Athens was not prepared Wednesday to receive the news the Make-A-Wish Foundation had granted her a trip to Australia.

When she was called to the stage at Athens Christian Preparatory Academy (ACP),  she thought she was going to tell about her battle with Gray Zone lymphoma, a rare form of cancer.  Instead, Gary Reeves with the Make-A-Wish Foundation told her about the trip of a lifetime that she and her family would be taking.

Reeves made contact with Skylar last year after her diagnosis to find out if she had a wish the foundation might be able to grant her. Her wish was to visit Australia.

Skylar said, “I love the show The Mentalist and the guy who plays on it is from Australia. Also, actor Chris Hemsworth is also from Australia. I just find Australia to be interesting.” She said they are both nice-looking men.

Reeves said, “It was a pretty big wish. We were not totally sure we had the means to grant it.”

Like Make-A-Wish normally does, it found a way,  and the family will leave on May 7 for Sydney.

Her teachers at ACP are inspired by Skylar's positive attitude about her disease.

Headmistress Teresa DeMay said, “She never misses a homework deadline. She has excellent grades, and she insists on having no special treatment of any kind. She is really an inspiration.”

Skylar has spent much of the past six months having surgery, chemotherapy treatments, radiation, biopsies, spinal taps and bone-marrow removal in an effort to save her life. She was declared cancer-free on April 3.

Skylar said her family had moved to Athens to be close to her grandparents. She said, “I know now there was another reason.”

She thinks she was sent to Athens, because she would need the doctors she found at Children's Medical Center in Dallas. She said, “Children's is the best hospital in the world.”

When asked if the word cancer scared her, the bright, inspiring young lady said, “I was never scared. I put it all in God's hands. I knew He had a plan.”

For the next 10 days, God's plan is for her and her family to relax on the beaches of Sydney, Australia.

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