3 warrior students who have inspired us with their stories in 2019

From Monroe High School to Madison High School to Chamberlain Middle School, I’ve had the pleasure of being inspired by three notable area students so far in 2019.

Dominic Watkins, a 2018 Monroe graduate, lost his battle against osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, on March 1. Throughout his short life, the 19-year-old showed courage, and fueled by his strong faith, he energized an entire community as shown by the hundreds who attended his visitation and funeral.

MORE: McCrabb: Time spent with cancer patient cherished

Matthew Harrison, 11, a sixth-grader at Chamberlain Middle School, was diagnosed with leukemia two years ago, and he recently wrote a book about his journey called, "My Cancer Life" produced by Smile Books Project.

MORE McCRABB: Meet my 10 most intriguing people of 2018

In the 20 months since the diagnosis, Matthew has received chemotherapy treatments, undergone periodic lumbar punctures, had fluid drained out of his stomach and received numerous blood and platelet transfusions.

His last chemotherapy treatment is scheduled for September 2020. That’s a day circled on the Harrison calendar.

MORE: McCrabb: He learned he had cancer before age 10. He’s battling it in the most inspiring way.

Mattie Cole, a sophomore at Madison High School, didn't let Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, stop her from attending Prom Saturday night.

MORE: Her cancer diagnosis rocked her family. Then the Madison community responded in beautiful ways.

Mattie, 16, wore a wig for part of the night but took it off because it was hot and itchy, her mother said. Mattie attended Prom with several friends and went with Jessica Blevins, a senior.

Her mother, Jody, described her daughter as “bald and beautiful.”

MORE: Charity event held by 2 Butler County school districts will help cancer-stricken student

Then on Sunday, Mattie returned to Cincinnati Children’s Liberty Campus to continue her chemotherapy treatments, her mother said. She will receive two-hour treatments Sunday through Thursday of this week, then receive a shot Friday to build up her bone marrow, her mother said.

MORE McCRABB: Her cancer diagnosis rocked her family. Then the Madison community responded in beautiful ways.

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