BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - There are two forms of strength. A physical outward strength: think world's strongest man or visit any local crossfit gym, and an inward strength. Reagan Angers maybe the strongest 11-year-old I've ever had the privilege to meet. In January 2014, Reagan broke her leg, but that's not the only thing doctor's discovered.
"They found a tumor that was on her leg and we went through a few weeks of it's possibly cancer. It might not be. Yes it is. No it's not. And eventually after they did another surgery they determined that it was cancer," said Reagan's mom Kim.
It was bone cancer. Reagan was immediately sent to St. Jude Hospital in Tennessee. Doctors had to remove eight and half inches of Reagan's femur. They also had to insert a titanium prosthetic bone that is spring loaded. The spring will help grow the leg joint as Reagan ages. She had to learn to walk all over again, and go through 10 months of chemotherapy.
Thankfully she was able to do the chemotherapy here in Baton Rouge at Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital. Her father Jeff said he learned a great deal about Reagan.
"I knew she was funny and beautiful and cool. I learned... I knew she was tough, but I didn't know anybody was that tough," Jeff said.
It certainly took physical strength to go through what Reagan did, but also an inward strength. She did it all with a smile. She even made the nurses at St. Jude and OLOL let her do all the tests on herself. Reagan said it was her faith in God that got her through the rough times.
"Prayer is a big part of my life especially since all of my family is Christian and most of them are Catholic. That was just a big part of it that helped me get my hopes up," Reagan said.
It also helped that Reagan had a huge support network from her family, friends, classmates and teachers. Her school, Our Lady of Mercy, came through in a big way organizing blood drives, prayer rallies, and even a soda can pull tab collection. One milk jug of pull tabs allows a family to stay free at the Ronald McDonald House just outside of St. Jude. Our Lady of Mercy collected over 2 million pull tabs.
"She is so selfless, so caring, so humble. I mean a horrible thing has happened to her and she's going to use it for God's good. She really is. She's going to change lives and I know that," said Anna Haldane, who helped organize the pull tab collection.
It's really a simple motto that Reagan lives by, "Have faith in God and never give up." Reagan has not given up, in fact she is cancer free! This whole situation has changed her outlook on life. She no longer wants to be a lawyer, but now work in pediatric oncology helping sick children just like she ONCE was.