Graduation Day for Plano teen battling leukemia

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on May 29, 2011 at 10:38 PM

Updated Monday, May 30 at 1:05 PM

PLANO — It has been a difficult journey for Plano teenager Micaela White.

She was diagnosed with leukemia last year and she's still waiting for a bone marrow transplant.

But Micaela and her family got the chance to celebrate a special milestone Sunday — her high school graduation.

From the hair, to the makeup, to the dress, the Ursuline Academy of Dallas senior prepared for the big day just as her classmates did.

Micaela had already missed some special events throughout the school year, but she was determined not to miss picking up her diploma.

"Graduation has been kind of the main thing because I didn't... we were not planning on graduation either," said the 18-year-old.

For her parents, it's the blessing they have been praying for.

"It's a good day," said Micaela's mom, Sharon White. "It's a gift."

Micaela spent six months in the hospital in her battle with leukemia.

"She's had a rough five to six months. She has persevered and doing well right now," said Micaela's father, Danny White. "We are very proud of her."

From the start, Micaela stayed focused on school. She did her homework between rounds of chemotherapy.

Graduation Day was her goal.

"Some of the chemo she had, she had big blisters on her fingers and palms so she couldn't write," said Mrs. White. "It was an effort on her part. Some weeks went easier than others."

Micaela admits she wouldn't have made it without her friends and teachers.

"My friends would bring my homework," said Micaela. "The teachers, they gave me stuff to work on the whole semester.... and my aunt would tutor me in math. I'm terrible in math!"

Micaela also told us her family's support was incredible.

"Oh... I'm going to cry," she said. "I couldn't do it without them. I mean, my mom is with me every day and my dad comes up every day and I see my brother."

But they are the ones now admiring her and her fight to survive on this day... and every day.

"To spend every day with her there, and watch her go through, to be strong," said Mrs. White. "She's my hero."

Micaela has two bone marrow donors lined up. She hopes to have a transplant in the coming weeks.

When she recovers, she plans to go to the University of Oklahoma, where she has already been accepted.

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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