Shining Stars

Cullen Children's Foundation

Monica with MattMonica Jo Hatch - October 4, 1992 to August 18, 2007
Sykeston, North Dakota

When Monica was 11 years old, she was diagnosed with cancer - Hormone Resistant Aveolar Spindle Cell Rhabdomyosarcoma. . Though her first course of chemotherapy proceeded as planned, her second course of chemotherapy did not. Due to her weakened immune system, she developed pneumonia and blood infection. Monica lapsed into a coma for weeks and was dependent on a respirator and feeding tube. She fought through every setback, regaining her strength to continue the fight with cancer. That July, a large tumor was removed from her chest cavity followed by a full course of radiation therapy. Things seemed to be improving, however, in February 2007, Monica and her family received the unfortunate news that her cancer had returned and had spread throughout her body.

Despite all the school Monica had missed, she maintained an impressive 3.5 grade point average. In her spare time, she made bracelets and gift bags for kids at MeritCare Children's Hospital. Monica was determined to let people know how much she loved life and wanted to get the most out of every moment. Her slogan is, "I'm not sick, I just have cancer."

"Monica had a motto: 'Take each day as it comes and live it to the fullest – cause God never promised anyone tomorrow.'"

Monica's headstone was recently placed at the cemetary in Carrington. It is a simple heart with a simple frog at the top. At the bottom is the meaning to her for the word FROG...Fully Rely On God.