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Cancer keeps one young girl away from start of school

Reported by: Marie Mortera
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Updated: 8/19/2013 9:35 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- The school year is a week away for many but for one local student.

Sierra Estep won't be there for the first day of class because she is fighting cancer.

She will be back at school soon, she vows, and she has a whole neighborhood rooting for her.

Sierra Estep's smile fills the room, especially in her room where she has a special collection of stuffed animals.

"I got this at Disneyland," she says while holding a Mike Wazowski plush toy from Disney's Monsters, Inc. franchise films.

Downstairs, a collection of a different kind are stuffed animals given to her from friends and doctors. She shows off one particular stuffed animal.

“It's called a surgery dog. I got it right before I went in for surgery,” she says.

Not a normal gift but then again, she was dealt with an unusual blow -- ovarian cancer. She's 10 years old and was diagnosed in late June.

“We went on our family trip to Disneyland and I just wasn't feeling right, I wasn’t feeling 100 percent and we went to the hospital before we went and they said I was fine but then afterwards, I wasn't feel well went we came back so we went in again and I had to get my surgery.”

“They thought it was an appendix, simple surgery. They said it would take 20 minutes but when they came out, they found a mass tumor and they told us it would have to be removed,” said her father Brian Estep.

“It's hard news to just take in,” Sierra said.

“You don't even feel like you're you. You feel like it's a bad dream, something you're watching from across the room. It’s not something can ever imagine,” said her mother Didi Estep.

Suddenly, the Estep family was thrown into a rush of doctor appointments, chemotherapy. They learned so much about children ovarian cancer.

“2.4 kids in a million will get this cancer,” Brian said.

But they couldn't get an answer on how the cancer began.

“She could've been born with it,” her father says.

The past is beyond them though, while some days are tougher than others, they stick with their family motto.

“We're baseball fans. We take it one pitch at a time. We can't get too far ahead of the game. We take the good news when it comes in, take the bad news when it comes in and Sierra is an inspiration,” Brian said.

She is such an inspiration, which is why a community has come to her side.

This is as close as they've come.

Sharline summers, Sierra's teacher at Walker Elementary in Henderson has shaved off her hair in solidarity.

Only News 3 was there for the emotional moment.

Summers returns to school next week with a new look and a new life lesson.

“I want the kids to see that it doesn’t really matter what you look like on the outside,” Summer said. “It’s what’s in the inside.”

Summers has raised enough money from friends and people in her neighborhood to send the Estep's to Disneyland again. The check presented today to a very surprised and happy 10-year old girl.

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