Everyday Hero: Sarah Singleton - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Everyday Hero: Sarah Singleton

JACKSON, MO (KFVS) - It's true for many of us that a teacher has been an inspiration at some point in time.

But in Jackson, Missouri, it's the heroic attitude of one middle school student that's inspiring peers and teachers alike. 

Sarah Singleton is in many ways a normal 6th grader.

“Normal is really good. We say that a lot," said Jennifer Singleton, Sarah's mom. "Normal is good. It's one of our mantras.”

Like most of her classmates she spends her days off school in the snow.

She enjoys learning and going to choir practice and her teachers use only the best adjectives to describe her personality.

“Great big smile, sweet attitude, sweet spirit, hard worker, conscientious, and she thinks about other kids," said Sarah's music teacher Stephanie Fridley

Unfortunately, so much of Sarah's life isn't defined by her normalcy, rather it revolves around an abnormality.

“There were three masses. They did surgery the next day. And they told us they thought it was cancer. And it was just that fast," Jennifer recalled.

One morning in July 2013, Sarah woke up feeling sick.

She missed basketball and soccer camp that day.

But the next day it was worse and then the next, her parents rushed her to the St. Louis Children's Hospital.

Sarah was diagnosed with ATRT, an aggressive form of cancer that has invaded her brain.

From there, the surgeries, days in the ICU, and chemotherapy and radiation treatments began.

“If I look over at Sarah, I think I have no reason to be tired," said Fridley.

It sounds like a lot, but what's more impactful is seeing it.

Beads of Courage is a program that helps children record, tell and own their cancer story.

Each bead represents one procedure, one surgery, one more hurdle they've overcome.

Sarah's story is several necklaces long, and it's not over yet.

“One person said every journey is different. And I totally believe that," said Sarah's mom. "Everybody we've met, we've met some amazing people. Kids with all kinds of stories and just every journey is different. We told Sarah she's going to have an amazing story to tell.”

Sarah's journey led her to a chemotherapy trial in Cincinnati.

Her family spent 10 weeks at the Ronald McDonald house there.

But she doesn't focus on the time in the hospital.

Instead, “I'm happy because I got to go to Cincinnati and make three new friends," this Everyday Hero Sarah Singleton.

Leave it to a 6th grader to focus on the good, not the bad.

“I got cards from all over the place. I got cards from Texas and I think I got a couple from my best friend that lives in Canada," Sarah said.

Those cards may give her strength, but it's an inner “want to” that Sarah's mom credits her resiliency.

A want to go to school, a want to run, a want to return to the normal life that changed in an instant.

“I don't know how to even put into words how impressive it is and how proud we are of her. For all those things she does every day," said Sarah's mother.

You can send words of encouragement to Sarah at:

c/o Sarah Singleton

310 North Shawnee

Jackson, MO 63755

If you know of an Everyday Hero in your life, please let us know.

Just click here to make your nomination.

We'll profile an Everyday Hero each month on Heartland News and all of our heroes will be honored at the annual Red Cross recognition luncheon.

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