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SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — The power of prayer and the support of an entire school community is helping a South Kingstown 5-year-old in the fight for her life.
Julia Duggan, a student at Monsignor Clarke Catholic Regional School, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma back in February, after a routine doctor’s appointment revealed an abnormality.
Her parents were stunned by the news.
“You go to a place that’s pretty dark in your mind,” Julia’s father John Duggan said. “It’s difficult.”
When Julia’s pre-K teacher Tricia Angeli broke the news to her classmates’ parents over a Zoom call shortly after her diagnosis, nearly everyone burst into tears.
“To me, it was just out of any realm of reality,” Angeli recalled. “I was devastated.”
But Julia refuses to let her diagnosis keep her down.
Julia still gets to go to school in between chemotherapy treatments at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.
The Monsignor Clarke community, determined to be a light in Julia’s darkness, not only raised more than $17,500 for her family, but also kept her in their prayers.
“There’s power in prayer,” Angeli said. “I think it played a big role in this.”
The Duggan family told 12 News they’re thankful for the support of the Monsignor Clarke community. They’re also grateful for the days of normalcy Julia gets to spend while at school.
“She is probably one of the strongest children I know,” Angeli added. “She just amazes me. She absolutely amazes me.”
Julia has surgery scheduled to remove the tumor, as well as another 18 to 24 months of chemotherapy and radiation ahead of her.
While it’ll be a long road, she has plenty of people cheering her on along the way.
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