Teen beats ovarian cancer to become co-valedictorian - KMSP-TV

Teen beats ovarian cancer to become co-valedictorian

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SW DeKalb co-valedictorian and cancer survivor Coreyonna Welch holds hair after chemo. (Photo by Aungelique Proctor/myfoxatlanta) SW DeKalb co-valedictorian and cancer survivor Coreyonna Welch holds hair after chemo. (Photo by Aungelique Proctor/myfoxatlanta)
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -

A local teen battled through ovarian cancer to graduate as co-valedictorian of her class at Southwest DeKalb High School.

Doctors diagnosed Coreyonna Welch with the life-threatening cancer as her classmates were enjoying their senior year.

"He told me I couldn't go back to school until like March. I was like, ‘What do you mean I can't go back to school,'" said Welch.

Doctors immediately removed the 15-pound cancerous tumor from Coreyonna's ovary and then the dreaded chemo therapy came next.

"It affects your body so much. You can't even really understand who you are anymore. It's like the person you thought you were is not the person you see when you look in the mirror," Welch said.

Not only did she lose weight and all of her hair, but she said friends started dropping off as well.

"The ones I had that used to come over my house sometimes, they just disappeared," Welch said.

The scariest four months of Coreyonna's life ended when doctors told her she was cancer-free. She later got word that she would be the valedictorian.

The senior, who spent her 18th birthday, Christmas, New Year's and Valentine's Day in the hospital, delivered the valedictorian address before thousands at the Georgia Dome.
       
The University of West Georgia-bound graduate said that there was a life lesson in her experience.

"I feel like everything  happens for a reason, and I feel like me getting cancer was to show other people that they can still do things, no matter like the biggest obstacle that happens, you can still do anything you want to do," Welch said.

Coreyonna said that she will pursue a career in nursing, which includes getting a master's degree.

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