Local teen to share her cancer story with lawmakers

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) - Rachel Edwards was once told she had four to six weeks to live. She was just 10 years old at the time, and had gone to her doctor for a routine checkup when they found the tumor.

"Middle school is awkward enough and challenging enough without finding out you have a recurrence of cancer," said 17-year-old Edwards.

She went through chemotherapy multiple times after the cancer returned in her lungs three times in seven years.

"After the fourth recurrence, they said it didn't look good," she said. "They said I wasn't going to make it."

Then there was a breakthrough. A few of her doctors at the Medical University of South Carolina's Children's Hospital continued to research and ended up finding a study that could help Edwards.

"It will be 15 months since my last clean scan," she said on Friday.

This is the story Edwards will tell lawmakers on Capitol Hill next week for Family Advocacy Day. This is a time when children across the nation will share their health stories and the reason funding is needed for kids.

MUSC's Children's Hospital chose Rachel as the 2013 advocate.

Rachel plans to stress the crucial need for cancer research funding for children. She says it is a big misconception that cancers in adults and children are the same.

She will leave Monday for the week.