Delaware County elementary school raises awareness for kids fighting cancer

NORWOOD, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The yellow ribbons, balloons, and shirts all around Norwood Elementary School are meant to bring hope to a community that's been through the unthinkable.

"We've had a little bit of a rough stretch," said health and physical education teacher Tara Vaughn.

Over the summer, a second grader at the school died of cancer. Now, another student is fighting the disease.

"He's battling through with a smile and a positive attitude. The community and environment at this school couldn't be better," said Vaughn.

In light of everything going on, the school wanted to do something to acknowledge childhood cancer, so it organized a walk during school Friday.

Seventh grader Liliana Gonzalez said this gesture meant a lot to her.

"You're losing kids who aren't even a year old yet, so more people need to acknowledge everyone who is fighting, who has survived," said Gonzalez.

When she was 18 months old, doctors discovered Gonzalez had retinoblastoma and had to remove her eye. The one eye is now acrylic.

"I've only seen out of my right eye, and somehow I managed to have really poor eyesight - clearly because I have glasses. I'm legally blind in my only good eye," said Gonzalez.

She says life's gotten easier now that she knows her whole school has her back.

"I'm honestly really happy they're doing it - more awareness for people who are fighting, who have lost. It's really important to me," said Gonzalez.

At the end of the walk, all the students lined up in a field and spelled out 'H-O-P-E.' It's a four-letter word that means a lot to 13-year-old Gonzalez.

"Hey, I can still see, so that's a plus," she said.
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