Church ladies knit 200 beanies for cancer-stricken teen - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Church ladies knit 200 beanies for cancer-stricken teen

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

It was an emotional day at Cardinal Newman School in Columbia. Back in May a sophomore there was diagnosed with bone cancer. With the help of a prayer group in Florence, her classmates now wear their support in the form of beanie hats.

Cardinal Newman school relaxed their dress code, but this one is special. It's one of Abi Cruz's good days.

"Physically you can see the effects of the chemotherapy, but it's never affected her spirit," Peatra Cruz, Abi's mother said. "She's by far what keeps us strong and keeps us going."

Peatra won't forget when her daughter was diagnosed in May after her arm broke while working on a science project. Aggressive treatment brought the recognizable side effect that Abi refused to conceal with a wig.

"She said, 'I'm not ashamed of this. I want to show people I can fight this, and I'm going to win this.'" said Peatra.

Enter the ladies from St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Florence who knitted 200 beanies that would be bought by Abi's classmates. The money went to the Cruz family and today a school assembly became a surprise chance for Abi to say thanks.

"I have no idea what's going through my head right now," said Abi. "I never would've imagined in a million years that these little ladies would extend their hand out to someone they don't know at all, it's quite overwhelming."

"I told her we all have tissues in our pockets because it affected all of us," said Ruth Drelich, one of the many women who knitted the hats.

They clearly didn't do it for the attention.

"It makes us feel good knowing it makes her feel good," said Drelich. "We were really looking forward to this, to meeting her. "

"I'm not one to cry in front of people and then all of this," said Abi.

Surrounded by her friends old and new, you can see Abi's support goes beyond handmade beanies, but those help make a good day even better.

"Tomorrow I go in for chemo and I get in a bad mood right before usually, then all this happened," said Abi. "It just took all of that way."

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