Chelsea Dunn, 16, believes in the magic of music.
When she plays the Glockenspiel, she can forget about the illness and the treatments that have kept her home for her sophomore year, instead of with her friends and the band at Tulare Union High School.
"Every teenager will deny this...because they go to school. I actually miss it...I miss school," Chelsea Dunn said.
It's that quick wit and ability to tell it like it is that people can't help but notice about Chelsea.
But what they might notice first is her weakened condition because of regular chemotherapy treatments for soft tissue, Ewing Sarcoma.
"Technically it's a bone cancer but I was lucky enough to where mine just formed a mass in my back and it wasn't in my bones," Dunn said.
Chelsea considers herself lucky because her cancer was found early, detected as a lump in her back last May.
When she lost her hair to treatment Chelsea's family members shaved theirs off in solidarity.
Chelsea's mom Heather says the family was relieved they can support Chelsea while she undergoes chemo without leaving the Valley.
So when Children's Hospital Central California asked Chelsea to be this year's Kids Day Ambassador...Chelsea jumped at the chance which included a visit to her high school to promote the annual fundraiser.
Away from home Chelsea wears a wig, similar to her natural, trademark, red hair.
Now Chelsea is getting known for her fighting spirit and support of the hospital that's helped her survive.
The Craycroft Unit at Children's Hospital Central California is where patients like Chelsea stay when their treatment requires an overnight visit. As one of their "star" patients Chelsea even autographed her Kids Day poster for the staff.
A year ago, Chelsea and her family didn't know they would need to come here but they're grateful they can get world class care for her so close to home.
Chelsea's oncologist at Children's Dr. J. Daniel Ozeran says the hospital's cancer unit is part of an international group and is even one of the leading treatment centers in that group.
We know that we are the only pediatric oncology practice in the entire Central Valley...they can go to LA, the Bay Area anywhere they want, but they won't get any better care," Dr. J. Daniel Ozeran said.
And it's that care that Chelsea's mom says has helped her daughter, face cancer like a fighter.
"She's definitely been one strong cookie...so she's made me very proud," Heather Christenson said.NEWS BY LOCATION | ABC30 BLOGS | DISCUSSION FORUMS
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