Antioch grad returning to normal after cancer fight
ANTIOCH, TN (WSMV) -
For the last year and a half, Antioch High School graduate Makayla Claussen has been fighting a rare illness.
When Channel 4 last caught up with Claussen, she was getting ready for Christmas with her family and beginning to feel more like herself.
"It's amazing what prayer and support can do," Claussen told Channel 4 in December. "It helped me get through everything."
Now, she's feeling even better.
"It's amazing to know that I beat it," she said. "Everything this past year is over."
In April of 2013, Claussen was diagnosed with a life-threatening immune disorder known as HLH. She was also diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma, or blood cancer.
Claussen became very sick and had to undergo chemotherapy sessions. She was in need of a stem cell transplant.
"My brother wasn't a match, so they went to bone marrow registry and they found a lady from Germany who was a match," Claussen said. "She saved my life."
Sunday, Claussen and her family will celebrate her "re-birthday" one year after she received the lifesaving donation.
This month, Claussen's friends will help her move back into the dorms at the University of Tennessee.
"It just means that I'm back to normal again," Claussen said. "I can do this, I'm back."
Doctors confirmed Claussen is cancer free. She knows she is alive today because someone she has never met gave her a precious gift.
Sunday, in honor of Claussen's "re-birthday," her family will hold a bone marrow donor drive. The event will be held at Lakeshore Christian Church at 543 Bell Forge Lane East in Antioch. For more information, click here.
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