Plano teen loses battle with leukemia

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on August 17, 2011 at 6:03 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 17 at 10:19 PM

PLANO — Micaela White, the Plano teen diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia last year who was featured in several News 8 reports, died just before 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The 18-year-old received a bone marrow transplant more than a month ago.  She was diagnosed with the disease before Christmas in 2010.

Micaela had graduated from Ursuline Academy of Dallas this year and planned to attend the University of Oklahoma, where she was accepted.

"It was not the outcome we hoped for," said Ursuline Principal Betty Bourgeois.

Bourgeois told News 8 that Micaela left a deep impression. She managed to graduate with her class despite the challenges she was facing.

"She knew that the battle was for life," Bourgeois said.  "She knew it was life or death she was facing, but she wasn't depressed."

Micaela's death has devastated many students and staff members in the Ursuline family.  The school — along with the teen's classmates — raised money to help pay for medical bills.  They also started a prayer ritual called "Micaela Mondays."

"They are very close to her, close to one another.  It's a sisterhood," Bourgeois said.  "Every Monday, we would remember her in our thoughts and prayers and wear a rubber band [around their wrists] that said, 'Micaela's Army.'"

The principal visited Micaela on several occasions, but one visit stands out.  Bourgeois remembers seeing Micaela, alone in her room, smiling and asking questions about school.

"She was humorous, trying to cheer me from a sick bed — that was Micaela," Bourgeois said. "I will always remember her." 

Details on Micaela's funeral have not been released.  The school is planning to hold a memorial in a few weeks. 

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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