Coffee County teens help fight cancer - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Coffee County teens help fight cancer

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One of the T-shirts the group has been selling to raise money One of the T-shirts the group has been selling to raise money
Katie Leon Katie Leon
Katelynn Moore, one of Leon's Best Friends Katelynn Moore, one of Leon's Best Friends
Kodey Johnson, one of Leon's Best Friends Kodey Johnson, one of Leon's Best Friends
Kodey Johnson with Katie Leon at the hospital Kodey Johnson with Katie Leon at the hospital
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DOUGLAS, GA (WALB) -

A Coffee High School student battling cancer has no health insurance to pay for the expensive treatment. Now, her friends are raising money to help pay for chemo therapy and trips to doctors.

19-year-old Katie Leon has been in and out of the hospital since she was diagnosed leukemia two months ago. And she's facing three years of chemo therapy without medical coverage.

Teenagers love to joke around and enjoy life.

"We go to the movies, and we eat all the time," said Kaitlynn Moore and Kodey Johnson.

But a Coffee County group of teens is missing one of their best friends, who's been diagnosed with active leukemia.

"She's the most loving person you'll ever meet in your life. I've never met a person as nice as Katie Leon. She actually won superlative for best morals, and best personality," said Kaitlynn Moore, Best Friend.

Now, Katie and her family have to spend a lot of time in Augusta for chemo therapy.

"Every week, Thursday, Friday and come back Saturday. And they have to drive to Augusta every day like that," said Kodey Johnson, Best friend.

The chemo has been working, and Katie's now in remission, which is a huge relief to those closest to her.

"Yes, I'm very glad, 'cause…you know...just glad," Moore said.

But doctors say she needs another three years of treatment, which isn't cheap. Katie's family couldn't afford health insurance and now must pay for treatment out of pocket.

"Her dad is self employed, and her mother can't work due to a disability. So they just really just didn't have the extra cash laying around to pay for insurance," said Moore.

"And they also never thought that this would happen, you know." But her best friends have stepped in to help out, and have raised $8,000.

"The eight thousand is for travel and stuff just to help them out, so we're still trying to raise money for the doctor's bills and stuff," said Johnson.

They're selling T-shirts, holding bake sales, washing cars, and are planning a Katie day on June 8th with live music and auctions.

"She's got acute leukemia, which means it's fast growing. And um, I would say she needs everyone's help. And if you don't have the money to give...if you don't have any money to give, then you can always pray, because prayer's powerful," said Moore.

Friends said Leon's last medical bill was around $30,000, just the latest expense in a growing debt.

Friends said Leon's leukemia started in her blood and moved into her bones and later attacked her lung, before it went into remission. They also said she's lost maybe thirty-to-forty pounds from all the chemo treatments. They estimated Leon's medical bills are around $100,000 so far.

If you want to help, you can donate to the Katie Leon Medical Fund at first national bank in Douglas.

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