By: Carly O'Keefe
(Tamms)--May 19, 2006 was a triumphant day for 18-year-old Sabrina White of Thebes. After being home schooled and suffering through nine surgeries, three rounds of chemotherapy and debilitating bone cancer, she received her diploma.
As her family looks back at pictures of that day now, they know how tough it must have been for Sabrina to achieve her graduation goal. Just two weeks after she donned her cap and gown, she lost her battle with cancer.
"At times she got kind of down because of the pain and everything," said Sabrina's cousin Ruth Wallace. "But towards the end and even during the battle, I believe she was as brave as she could possibly be."
"She had a pretty positive outlook, she knew what was happening," said Vickie Wallace, Sabrina's Aunt. "She knew and she faced like a trooper."
Now her family soldiers on. Day by day they try to cope with loss, and financial hardship.
"We're doing everything financially possible that we can do," said Ruth.
A benefit Saturday at the Egyptian Community School in Tamms aimed to raise money to pay off funeral expenses. If funds are raised beyond those costs, the family plans to buy a headstone for the brave teenager who accomplished her dreams, but lost her battle.
"Sabrina was willing to help other people," said Vickie. "That's what I'm asking, is for people to help us, to get this taken care of for the family and Sabrina."