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Detroit school surprises teen who returned after battling cancer

Teen had to undergo extremely aggressive chemotherapy to treat cancer

DETROIT – At the age of 13 Karla Argueta has dealt with more than most of us can imagine.

At 12 Argueta was diagnosed with leukemia and her best chance to beat it was extremely aggressive chemotherapy.

That meant she would have to leave school.

The anticipation on the first floor of Neinas Dual Language Learning Academy was almost palpable on Friday.

“We’re going to surprise Karla with some Valentine’s Day treats,” said Diane Wardwell, a science teacher at Niena’s Language Learning Academy.

She surprised Argueta who fought to be here.

“There are no words to describe how devastated she was,” said Wardwell.

When she was diagnosed with leukemia, doctors wanted to treat it so aggressively, the chemo would keep her out of 7th grade.

“So for school work we had a home based teacher. My mission was to get her through the 7th grade and ready to start the eighth grade this year,” said Wardwell.

And that mission was successful. With Argueta going into remission in August just in time for the eighth grade.

So while Argueta’s math lesson was ongoing, the surprise moved upstairs.

The district wanted to surprise and shower Argueta with extra love this year because she is here with everybody.

“I’m gonna cry. This is just amazing. I’ve been through something, people are coming back. Where they had me in isolation, I couldn’t go outside, couldn’t be with friends at school," said Argueta.

“Always stay with a smile, tough times, there’s light at the end of the tunnel,” said Argueta.


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