January 14, 2013 by 1787news
By Sunny Morgan and Danilette Horton –
Senior Courtney Simmons hasn’t had it as easy as other students in her senior class. You might see Courtney roaming the halls sporting purple beats and a beanie. “Ellen Degeneres meets hippie teenager” is how she describes her style. But a year ago around this time, Courtney was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (also called Osteogenic Sarcoma) on January 21st, 2012, which was a few weeks after Courtney’s mother ended her battle with cancer on Christmas. Osteosarcoma is a type of cancer that starts at the bones. The cancer was found in her shin and knee cap. “You never know if you’re gonna get tomorrow.” She said. Courtney also had a sister whom she lost to cancer a few years ago. “You have to live every second like it’s your last.”
During her time getting chemotherapy at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Courtney managed to get time with the superstars. She had encounters with celebrities like Selena Gomez and Carly Rae Jepsen. Courtney also managed to come to school from time to time, even taking most of her standardized tests with her peers.
Courtney’s last chemotherapy session was September 21st, 2012, right at the beginning of her senior year. Her last day was joyous, but she also felt sentimental. “My last day was like, ‘I’m not in chemo anymore, but I won’t get to see these people anymore.” Courtney expressed. She didn’t say goodbye without hearing three words, “You’re in remission”. “Just those words felt really good. To finally say that I was finished was a really good feeling.”
Looking toward the future, Courtney wants to give back. She plans on graduating high school at Constitution, going to nursing school, and becoming a pediatric oncology nurse at CHOP. “I wanna give back to kids what the nurses gave to me.” She explained.
She’s also starting a non-profit organization for young cancer patients named “SS.A.S”, or “Supporting Survivorship and Soul”. “It makes you feel great to have someone going through it at the same time.” She spoke about the organization. “When I was in treatment, a lot of times I’d say ‘this is the end’. But it felt great to know that it can get better.”