Angelin Ross has her gown ready, and she's hoping to become homecoming queen. The Franklin High School graduate is now a senior at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville. Six months ago, what appeared to be a simple headache turned into a life and death journey.
"(My roommate) says she came upstairs and I was in a fetal position," said Ross.
The roommate took Ross to the emergency room. The diagnosis was leukemia. Two days later, even before beginning chemotherapy, Ross suffered a massive stroke. She is 21 years old.
"The right side of my body was paralyzed, I couldn't walk, couldn't talk, and I guess I was scared," said Ross.
The next few months were grueling. Ross lost all her hair, but family, friends and her dog Paris stayed close. It was scary going from being a popular, pretty and polished young woman who was part of the Equestrian Team at Tennessee Tech, to a frail and frightened person learning the basics all over again.
"Hi, I love you," said friend Camie Gentry.
But friends helped. Angelin and Gentry have been best friends since they were 10 years old. Camie was among the first who was told about the leukemia.
"She sent me a text and told me she had cancer, I stayed with her in the hospital then she had the stoke, it was horrible," said friend Gentry.
But now, six months later, Ross is cancer-free, has a collection of four wigs and doctors say her prognosis is good. The fist word she spoke following the stroke had a familiar ring to it.
"Camie," said Ross.
Five other girls are vying for Tennessee Tech Homecoming Queen, and in November all will walk on the field hoping to be crowned queen. Ross is just grateful to be walking again.
The Tennessee Tech Homecoming football game is Saturday, Nov. 5 in Cookeville.
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