School formals are memorable for anyone, but for Hannah Rye it was an extra special experience and the big night meant so much more.

Hannah is a cancer survivor.

Rye was diagnosed with the aggressive cancer Ewing’s sarcoma in 2015, when she was just 13 years old. The rare form of cancer occurs most commonly in people between the ages of 10 and 20, and affects the bones and soft tissues surrounding them. After a long battle with the cancer, and intense chemotherapy, Rye was cleared of the disease just five months before it returned.

Hannah Ray

“It was Trent’s idea to come to the formal, it was something he really wanted to do,” Rachel added.

“She’s been so very, very sick for the last week or two, and we didn’t think she was going to make the formal.”

This time around, the cancer was not treatable. Doctors gave Rye, 15, a very short time to live. According to the timeline they set, she would be much to sick to attend her 10th year high school formal.

Hannah Ray

When administrators at Rye’s school heard about her situation, they decided to move the high school formal up one month, so that Rye could attend… but they weren’t the only ones to step up and give the vibrant young girl the night of a lifetime.

Hannah Ray

In her first battle with cancer, Rye was part of a program called Tren7’s Kick For Kids, the brainchild of famous rugby player Trent Hodkinson. The 29-year-old rugby player spent lots of time with Rye while she was in the hospital, and the two developed a wholesome bond.

Hannah Ray

When Hodkinson heard that Rye’s cancer was back, he decided to put on a snappy blue suit and escort the young woman to the big dance. Hodkinson arrived at Hannah’s house before the formal and then they travelled to the event together.


They both had the time of their lives.

Hannah Ray

Rye’s entire class was waiting for the duo as they pulled up the event space in a fancy car and walked the red carpet together, arm in arm.

“He’s the sweetest man, and we love him,” Rachel Rye said of Hodkinson.“Tonight has been unbelievable and we’ve just seen so much love for Hannah. She’ll never get another moment like this, and it’s pretty special.”

Words can’t describe the joy that Rye felt that night, but we can all learn from it. Knowing that her life is drawing to a close, she chooses to face every day with a positive mindset and a heart full of hope.

Share and spread her hope and message.


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