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Shannon's Fight


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)-- She thinks about it a lot, but at 12-years-old Shannon O'Hara is determined to beat the brain cancer and the brain tumor that snuck up on her without warning in April.

"We had a meeting with our neurologist who told her you know what Shannon, it's our job to worry about you and it's your job to prove us wrong and Shannon said, 'well I'm gonna prove you wrong,' and that's she attitude she has about it," says Shannon's mom Jen.

Doctors told diagnosed Shannon with an inoperable brainstem glioma tumor on April 15th but the Willow Creek seventh-grader is determined to fight for as long as it takes.

"It's called a brainstem glioma tumor and it's considered a tumor and a cancer," says Shannon.

Courage is not something taught in school, it's not something you learn from a book it's just one of those things you find in the smile of 12-year-old, cheering on friends and family who were running a road race for her.

"We're all full steam ahead with Shannon and we're just gonna seize everyday," says Shannon's Aunt Meghan.

Shannon has some pretty heavy hitters on her team including Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak but she just calls him Uncle R.T.

"It's really hard to imagine what Shannon is going through but all anyone can do is just be the wind in her sails," says R.T.

There was a steady breeze blowing through the Med-City 5k two weekend ago, a breeze that also blew through the sea of Shannon t-shirts her family and friends were wearing for her.

"There are some tough days and we try to take our turn and it's ok to be sad and mad, for all of us," says her mom Jen.

Shannon has an intense drive and will to live you see, maybe once in a lifetime but she is a realist as well.

"My life is gonna mean something to someone, somewhere. If it's the doctors that learn, 'oh ya we have to do this right next time,' or if it's my family that I make it so many years that they're amazed that I made it that long," Shannon says about her fight.

Her tumor is right in the middle of her brain and doctors can't operate there they can just hope that somehow, someway the chemo and radiation will work.

"The scariest thing is when it comes back and that's why I'm not thinking about it because then I get scared and then it's not as easy to fight," the 12-year-old adds.

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