FREDERICKTOWN, MO (KFVS) - She's a teenager that believes a positive attitude can heal.
Annamarie Persons says a leukemia diagnosis changed her for the better.
Amazingly, she says it turned her into a light for everyone around her. She became a bright inspiration for the smallest patients fighting a big disease.
Heartland News caught up with Annamarie Person's as she spent the afternoon at Fredericktown High School visiting friends and teachers.
"It makes me happy because it's one step closer to being back to normal," said Annamarie.
She's been homebound since the summer when she got her diagnosis.
"I think it's changed me for the better because I don't think about myself all the time," Annamarie said. "I don't take things for granted. I don't get upset as easily."
Annamarie says she remembers two months after she was diagnosed something inside her changed.
"I really can't explain it," said Annamarie.
She says she made a decision to look on the bright side and keep going.
Instead of letting cancer get her down, she would look up.
"You know I really don't have hard days because I'm always up and moving," she said.
In fact she's hard to keep up with at school-and in the halls of Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center.
She's dedicates her time to making the youngest cancer patients find a way to smile.
"She takes these kids as treats them like a little sibling," said Jaclyn Fife. Fife's son Hayden is a patient who loves visits from Annamarie. "She makes them feel normal again," said Fife.
"I think it's really important because it helps them see that it's ok," said Annamarie.
Wendy Persons says cancer changed her daughter from a typical teenager to a selfless young woman.
"She shows them no matter what happens to you there is a way to stay positive," said Persons. "She loves the little ones. I get an endless joy out of it."
Just last Thursday test results showed Annamarie is cancer free. All tests came back negative showing she her in full remission. Annamarie says it's proof lending a hand, sharing a hug and wearing a smile can be the best medicine.
"Just keep going," said Annamarie. "There's always a brighter side."
She says it really is that simple.
"Yeah it really is, you just have to have a positive mindset," Annamarie said.
She can't wait to go back to school, get active in choir and JROTC again and graduate next year.
Meanwhile, Annamarie says she's found her calling. She wants to be a pediatric nurse.