After learning of her diagnosis, Rye's family, friends, teachers, and other people in her community came together to throw her a dream dance they called "Hannah's Formal."
"They’ve pulled together and got this whole thing off the ground and organised, and it is really testament to the beautiful students we have here that they all pulled together and got it happening for her," Rye's principal Tracey Breese, told BuzzFeed.
Breese told BuzzFeed that the students and staff wanted to do this for Rye so that she had "the best opportunity to make some beautiful memories."
And it seems that she did. Rye's dream dance included a dream date — Trent Hodkinson, a rugby player with the Newcastle Knights.
The Knights posted images of Rye's date to the formal with Hodkinson on Twitter, and if her smile is any indication, the night certainly created happy memories.
Despite her smile, though, Rye is still in pain.
"She’s been so very, very sick for the last week or two, and we didn’t think she was going to make the formal," Rye's mother, Racheal, told the Knights. Breese told BuzzFeed that Rye is in palliative care — which is sometimes known as "comfort care," and aims to treat symptoms of her cancer rather than cure it — and that her team of doctors had to work with her in order to make sure she could go to the dance.
“The doctors didn’t think she was going to make it, but she wasn’t going to miss the excitement and joy of tonight,” Racheal said to the Knights.
Although she was thrilled to have one of her favorite rugby players as her date, Rye and Hodkinson weren't strangers. They met last year as Rye was undergoing treatment at John Hunter Children’s Hospital. He even dedicated his conversion kicks — when the game is paused so a player can kick the ball toward the goal — to Rye during one game.
Hodkinson said during a press conference that he had "a great time" at the dance, BuzzFeed reports, and that he was blown away by the support he saw from Rye's friends.
"She brought a smile to my face last night," he told BuzzFeed. "She was so strong."
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