Beads of Hope for young Rockwall cancer patient

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by MEAGAN HARRIS

WFAA

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 12:33 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 16 at 8:28 PM

DALLAS — Life for 14-year-old Payton Agnew consists of constant hospital visits. She's been battling T-cell lymphoma since 2007.

Last June, Payton was admitted into the intensive care unit following complications from a bone marrow transplant. It's during this current hospital stay that Payton decided she wanted more in life.

Not for herself,  but for others.

Her mission began with a single string of beads.

She calls her project Beads of Hope. Payton sells the jewelry and donates the profits to the Children's Cancer Fund.

Payton and her mother Claudia spend hours making bracelets and necklaces, passing the time while Payton tries to recover in ICU.

The soft-spoken Claudia Agnew smiles as she talks about her daughter, calling her a fighter and saying she's full of courage.

But it's more than just courage that captivates those around Payton. It's her compassion.

Payton has raised nearly $1,000 so far, and her project is catching on.

Rockwall Heath High School joined the effort. The Friends of Rachel Club is making the beads out of clay. Their profits are also going to the Children's Cancer Fund.

Among the group of students is Payton's older sister Charlese. "Hope is Payton's favorite word," Charlese said. "She knows we're making the jewelry. It makes her very happy."

Rockwall Heath High School takes part in Rachel's Challenge, the initiative named after Rachel Scott, the first victim of the Columbine shootings. She, too, was known for her compassion and kindness.

Payton's hope is to continue helping others by one day becoming a doctor.

E-mail mharris@wfaa.com

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