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Texas teen battling cancer writes about fictional dying girl named Hope

Texas teen battling cancer writes about fictional dying girl named Hope

Weeks after learning her cancer has returned, a girl once at the center of a custody battle over her treatment has written a school paper in which a girl named Hope comes to grips with her impending death.
Ed Wernecke said Thursday that his daughter's work was fiction, but "she's certainly drawing from real-life experience."
Katie Wernecke, now 14, was 12 when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the lymph nodes. She was taken into state custody in June 2005 after her parents refused radiation treatment. The Werneckes had argued chemotherapy already killed the cancer and they feared the radiation would do more harm than good.
A judge eventually returned Katie to her family, and she has since undergone traditional and nontraditional treatments, including radiation. Her cancer went into remission but has aggressively reappeared, according to the family's Web site.
Katie's paper, written for her ninth-grade English class, was added to the site Wednesday night.
"I started to wonder, and then it hit me," the fictional Hope Clarkson writes. "I didn't have my blood drawn and I was never seen by the doctor like I was supposed to, so I figured what (the doctor) said must have been really bad and mom also looked so worried and sad. ... Thinking about all these things lead (sic) me to believe that I was dying."
In the story, the letter is written to Hope's parents and read after she dies.
Ed Wernecke said it was hard for him to know if the paper helped Katie come to grips with her struggle.
"It's hard to get into her mind," he said.
A judge returned Katie to her parents in November 2005 and said they would be in charge of her care.
Ed Wernecke said his daughter is in school and still undergoing treatments.


Updated : 2021-04-16 02:28 GMT+08:00