SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (01/22/2018) TaShayla Clayton is no stranger to surprises, as she discovered at just 15-year-old that she was battling Osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer that was taking over her left arm. This weekend, she was met with a different kind of surprise, however, surrounded by friends and family all gathering to help her celebrate her Sweet 16.
"I was really surprised, I was not expecting it at all, but it was so exciting. It was just awesome to see how many people actually love and care about me, it's a really good feeling," said Shay.
However, the night was more than just a birthday celebration, as it was also revealed that Shay and her family will be packing their bags for Hawaii as a result of her Make a Wish request.
"It's going to be nice to not have to worry about doctor visits for that short amount of time. Just being able to be away," added Shay. "It's going to be exciting though, I'm excited to just put it off and let it be for a little while."
The granting of this wish follows one of the hardest decisions Shay has ever had to make, as earlier this past December it was discovered that her cancer had spread to the lymph nodes under arm. She was faced with the choice to either go forward with a surgery that would completely remove her arm and shoulder with no guarantee that the cancer would not return, or to bypass it all together and believe for a miracle.
"I spent hours a night praying, asking God what I should do, and I just felt like it was laid on my heart to not have the surgery. I feel like I got a better quality of life type thing if I don't do it, so I'm just making the best out of it," said Shay.
The new discovery has not phased Shay, however, as the smile on her face is brighter than ever before. Despite the mountains she is climbing as she continues her chemo treatments, her and her family are not giving up hope, believing with faith that a miracle is still possible.
In just a few weeks, a local MSU fraternity will be hosting a fundraiser to benefit Shay and her family. To find out more on this event or to just follow Shay on her journey, click here.