CHINA GROVE, NC (WBTV) - You have to love a girl with confidence and sass. Halle Ritchie has both.
Halle is an 11-year-old from China Grove. Her mom Rebecca says she's an independent sweetheart who speaks her mind, doesn't hold back and has a passion for creativity beyond comparison. (That might be the best description I've heard from a mom about her pre-teen daughter.)
Four months ago Halle was diagnosed with pancreatoblastoma. Or, she was ORIGINALLY diagnosed with that. Genetic testing eventually showed the tumor was more consistent with Ewing's Sarcoma.
Confusing, but doctors say pancreatic cancer is rare in a child. They were flying a bit blind with Halle. No one knew exactly what treatments to issue because of so few case studies.
So, Halle is in some ways forging her own treatment path. Right now she's receiving five types of chemo at Duke University Medical Center. Her prognosis is unclear. The hope is to get the tumor to shrink enough so doctors can remove the damaged part of the pancreas. Right now it's considered inoperable.
Most of Halle's family is in China Grove, in Rowan County. An amazing support network, says Rebecca.
"They're in her corner – our corner – all the way," she said.
Halle has two sisters, Lily and Laci, and a brother Cole.
"We are a blended family," says Rebecca. "My husband and I each brought two children from previous marriages. All Halle's siblings were devastated when they heard she had cancer. I see true love when I see her siblings try to care for her."
To find out more on Halle go to her Facebook for family updates, HERE.
Halle is the seventeenth amazing child in 17 days to be fighting cancer. All in our area.
Get involved. Donate. Volunteer. Love. SHARE their stories. It's unacceptable to have kids like Halle fight for their lives against a disease most adults can't pronounce.
Keep going Halle. Don't let cancer take away that independent spirit and sass. The picture your mom sent of you in the blue wig (I'll post below in comments) says more than any words.
**Editor's note: This is about one of #MollysKids in the month of September, children WBTV Anchor Molly Grantham follows closely on her Facebook page. This article was first published there – maybe you'll be able to tell that in the personal way it's written. For years Molly has followed the stories of dozens of kids with uphill medical battles. During Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, she features one a day. Thirty total. Find this story (and updates on all of #MollysKids) here.