Tags: Community & Outreach, Education News & School Sports
Sarah Whitfield, 18, of Cumming, in Australia during her Make-A-Wish trip. (click for larger version)
Sarah Whitfield and her boyfriend Zach Nix during their recent trip. (click for larger version)
Left front to back: Mary Beth Whitfield, Benjamin Whitfield, Joe Whitfield, Zak Nix and Sarah Whitfield. Right front to back: Make-A-Wish Georgia volunteer Mary Kay Allen, UnitedHealthcare staff; Ben Milcarek, Erma Brooks, David Sturkey, and UHC Georgia CEO Rick Elliott. (click for larger version)
January 22, 2013CUMMING, Ga. — Diagnosed with stage two Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2010, Sarah Whitfield, 18, was granted a wish from the Georgia chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The trip was sponsored by United Health Care.
"I went to Australia with my father, Joe Whitfield, and my boyfriend, Zach Nix," she said.
The trio toured tropical rainforests and visited the Great Barrier Reef, along with Sydney and other areas of the country.
Don't think cancer stopped the teen from moving forward with her life.
Whitfield continued her high school curriculum with home tutors while going through chemotherapy, and maintained A's and B's.
Her grades earned her a $5,000 scholarship to the University of Georgia, where she is currently a freshman.
"I was able to stay focused on my studies," Whitfield said. "My chemo was three weeks on and one week off, and I attended school as much as possible."
She is now cancer free, but the road to good health was filled with heartache.
Whitfield's mother, Donna Martin Whitfield, passed away in September 2011.
"My boyfriend was there through all of this — the cancer and my mom's death," she said.
She said the trip was a much-deserved break from her daily life, and an experience she will never forget.
"I'm grateful to have been given this wish, and appreciate those who made it happen," she said.