AMBLER, Pa. (CBS) — A Montgomery County teenager who’s battled cancer is a finalist for a national scholarship showcasing phenomenal kids.
The Ellio’s Phenomenal Kids scholarship is for kids who are more than just good students – they also have to be creative, positive and involved with the community.
Local finalist Sara Meltzer has that, and one more thing, an amazing story of surviving cancer.
Sara was just 5 years old when she was diagnosed with brain cancer.
“They weren’t sure how long she was going to make it,” said Sara’s mother, Dana Meltzer.
Through a year-and-a-half of grueling treatments, Sara somehow managed to stay positive.
“She always had the Sara smile. She had a smile on her face all through treatment and all through losing her hair,” said Meltzer.
“It wasn’t that painful because I kind of got used to that needles and stuff,” said Sara. “But, like, it was really hard because I couldn’t really go to school at that point. I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t really be a normal kid.”
Sara is beyond normal these days as the 12-year-old is a straight A seventh-grader who loves her pets – a rabbit and a dog – and her bedroom is a show place.
“This is my red carpet my aunt gave me,” said Sara.
This is where Sara and her girlfriends have fun pretending, and while she’s stable now, cancer is always in the back of her mind.
Sara has raised $50,000 for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, participating in the annual walk/run.
“I wanted to get involved with it because CHOP did so much for me and helped me so much. I wanted to give back to them,” said Sara. “Without them, I wouldn’t be here.”
That spirit has made her a finalist for the Ellio’s Phenomenal Kids scholarship.
The pizza that kept her eating through chemo could now be supplying a $10,000 scholarship.
“I feel like I’m pretty phenomenal because I went through all this stuff and I’m still doing really well,” she said.
Sara says she also wants to help other kids with cancer, hoping the money she raises for CHOP will help find better treatments for them.
The scholarship will be decided on voting that runs through Dec. 13.
Click here to vote.