CANBY, OR (KPTV) – Canby community members rallied around a young girl Thursday in her fight against cancer.

“It’s just so crazy to see everyone behind me,” Ellie Shorter, a junior at Canby High School, said. “They are part of my army. It makes it so much easier knowing I am not alone.”

One day after finishing her first round of chemotherapy, “Ellie Strong” is just that, rallying her body Thursday night to celebrate life with her Canby Cougar family.

“It sucks, but I want to be as big of a role as I was before,” Shorter said.

The 16-year-old captain and midfielder was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in September.

“To hear the words, ‘you have cancer’, just thinking you have cancer inside your body is super crazy to me,” Shorter said.

Shorter felt a lump on her neck during a chiropractic visit following being the victim of a hit-and-run by a drunk driver in August.

“It’s crazy to think that it’s actually happening, for a while it just felt like a dream,” Shorter said. “A nightmare, I guess.”

Shorter participates in soccer, track and cheer at Canby High School.

“That’s one of the reasons I love living in this town,” Shorter said. “It’s a small community but it’s awesome to see something happening like this. A teenager at the high school is going through something like this but everyone comes together. It makes me feel loved and supported. There is not one second that I felt alone.”

Classmates have been raising funds for Shorter’s medical bills with “Ellie’s Army” shirts, hoodies and bracelets, making the Cougar den a purple pit.

“You’ll walk around school and people are wearing their Ellie’s Army tee shirts, and that’s something that’s so special,” Ellie Kromer, a Canby High School senior, said. “It’s more than just us. It’s all of us together behind her.”

Shorter will return for her second of three rounds of chemotherapy at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital next month and hopes to be back in school come the first of the year.

“The light at the end of the tunnel, I know it’s coming,” Shorter said.

If you know of any high school student athletes who deserve some FOX 12 sports recognition, reach out to Nick Krupke at nick.krupke@kptv.com.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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