Hawthorne teen, Cailean Sterling, has undergone more in her short 17 years than most do in a lifetime.
Diagnosed with a brain tumor in December, Sterling underwent surgery to remove two golf ball sized tumors that were between her brain hemispheres.
Airlifted from Mt. Grant General Hospital in her hometown to the University of California at San Francisco, Sterling’s parents were unsure of the outcome.
“We didn’t know if she was going to make it and nobody had told us it was that bad,” Sterling’s mother told Paul Harris with KOLO News 8 in Reno, while trying to hold back the tears.
Just weeks before her diagnoses, Sterling had met with me in the Independent-News office to discuss her plans of going into West Point, after receiving a congressional nomination. At the time of the interview, she was her bubbly self with a maturity of that older than a normal 17 year old. She was looking towards the future and setting her goals high.
Homeschooled, Sterling pushed herself to complete the needed courses in order to receive the nomination. During her hard work, she also played sports and was a regular in the model scene in the Reno area.
During an interview with Harris in Reno, Sterling undergoes physical therapy to regain normalcy in her life. Her eye sight was damaged, along with her motor skills, but watching her gracefully walk across the floor at the Renown Therapy Room, she still has the poise of a model.
Armed with her “Canadian Crutches”, Sterling along with a group of supporters plan to head back to San Francisco, but this time, not for surgery. She will walk side by side with other survivors of cancer at the May 2 charity walk for tumor awareness.
Despite driving to Reno twice a week for therapy, the trip to San Francisco will be more of a healing journey. Showing just how far, the human spirit can go, after being under so much stress and trauma.
Sterling is looking for support to make the walk possible. Her mother has done fundraisers to help earn money, but they are still shy of their goal to make the 5k walk possible.
Those wishing to help out Sterling log onto Facebook where an account has been set up under Tinae Sterling’s account.
Not thinking of herself, Sterling said, “[I’m] super excited because it is who I am now and I feel it is an obligation of mine to give back to that community.”