Girl earns green belt while battling leukemia - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Girl earns green belt while battling leukemia

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ATLANTA -

One local teen is fighting a deadly disease but she's still determined to accomplish her goals. Monica Sandoval, 17, isn't letting leukemia get in her way.

"I felt like time stopped. You don't go to the doctor expecting that's what they're going to say to you," said Sandoval. "You think all other things, but you never think that you're going to get cancer."

The cancer diagnosis never dampened the 17-year-old's spirit. While at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, she would do her best to cheer up the other patients, even throwing princess parties for the other girls.

"If I see kids in their room looking sick, I'm like 'Come on, come out of your room or else you're gonna feel sick,'" said Sandoval.

Cancer also didn't keep her from doing what she loved the most. She kept up her Taekwondo training even during treatment. Thanks to bone marrow donated by her little brother, Cody, her cancer eventually went into remission. But in January of this year, it returned. Instead of seeing this a bad news, she says it made her even more determined, and she paid a visit to her Taekwondo do instructor.

"I went to him the very next day and I said, alright, we need to get this done, like right now," said Sandoval.

She wanted to earn her green belt, saying she knew how weak she was going to get and wanted to feel strong.

She eventually earned her green belt and is awaiting her second bone marrow transplant. But you still can't keep her still. She's constantly in the hospital halls chatting with the nurses, and visiting patients.

Soon, she will get to help countless cancer patients. Sandoval is a budding artist, and when AFLAC held a national contest asking kids to design the 2012 Holiday Duck, she won!

The stuffed duck is to be sold in Macy stores across the country during the Christmas holiday season.  It will also be a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade. AFLAC is having an online virtual duck race for charity.

For more information:
Virtual Duck Race
Help beat childhood cancer

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