Monica Sandoval, 17, wanted to earn her green belt. A cancer diagnosis wasn't going to stop her.
The Atlanta teen kept up her Taekwondo training during her treatment for leukemia. After her brother donated bone marrow, Sandoval's cancer went into remission.
This January, the cancer returned. But instead of giving up on her goal, she immediately paid a visit to her Taekwondo instructor.
"I went to him the very next day and I said, alright, we need to get this done, like, right now," Sandoval told My Fox Atlanta.
She earned her green belt and is now awaiting a second bone-marrow transplant.
"I knew how weak I was going to be again…and I wanted to just feel strong," she said.
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The upbeat teen — Sandoval did her best to raise the spirits of other young cancer patients at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, throwing princess parties for the other girls there — isn't just accomplished in Taekwondo. The gifted artist recently designed AFLAC's 2012 Holiday Duck, a stuffed toy to be sold during the holiday season to help fight childhood cancer.