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Commodore Perry school rallies behind student diagnosed with brain cancer

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HADLEY, Pennsylvania - Just a couple of weeks before Christmas, 11-year-old Kari McCloskey, a student at Commodore Perry Elementary School in Hadley, Pennsylvania, was diagnosed with brain cancer after doctors discovered a tumor growing on her brain stem.

"The road has been a roller coaster. A lot of unknowns at first and then kind of figuring out, OK, what the battle plan is going to be," said Kari's dad, Jerry McCloskey.

Kari's parents decided to pull her out of school immediately so she could begin chemotherapy and radiation, an absence felt among her classmates and teachers.

"She is bubbly, kind of a smart aleck at times. It just oozes out of her, the energy. You can definitely tell when she is not there," said Commodore Perry Elementary School teacher B.J. Mozes. "I mean it was definitely noticeable the first couple of weeks and it has just kind of compounded ever since."

Determined to comfort Kari through her journey, students and staff at Commodore Perry Schools spent a month crafting a personalized quilt, a surprise unveiled to her Friday afternoon.

"I didn't know how much they cared," Kari said.

"The fact that people care so much for us and for Kari in particular; to take time to do this and to have a school that is close enough, close knit, well enough to do things like this is amazing and we are so fortunate to be a part of it," Jerry said.

Thanks to Make-A-Wish, Kari and her family will travel to Florida soon. They're heading to Sanibel Island to pick sea shells. But first, they're making a stop at Disney.

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