#DestinySTRONG for Pelham girl battling rare liver cancer

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A 9-year-old girl is currently undergoing chemotherapy at Children’s of Alabama hospital to fight a rare form a liver cancer.

Destiny Riekeberg, 9, attended Pelham Ridge Elementary School. She had to leave the 3rd grade in order to undergo treatment and her parents, Lacretia and Dustin Reikeberg, hope she will be able to start 4th grade next year.

“The night that we were told that [she had cancer], I was talking to God,” Lacretia Riekeberg said. “I was saying: ‘God out of all people, Destiny, my Destiny?’ And then I said: ‘You know what, God. Out of all people, why not my Destiny?’ Because she is strong and if anyone is going to fight this rare cancer, Destiny can do it.”

Destiny has undergone emergency surgery for a tumor bleed and is also undergoing dialysis.

“We’ve got thousands — I don’t even know how many — all over the world praying for Destiny so we just ask for continued prayers lifting her up,” Lacretia Reikeberg, said.

Her father told CBS 42 that he and Destiny are very close and do everything together. They play sports together and he even helps her style her hair.

“We’re a positive family, we don’t think about negatives and my tears aren’t of fear, my tears are that she has to endure this disease,” Dustin Riekeberg said. “I’ve always taught my kid that all we know how to do is win. Nobody’s ever taught her how to lose and I don’t intend for cancer to be that lesson for her in life.”

In addition to #DestinyStrong thread on social media showing support, family and friends are wearing scrunchies on their wrists to show their support for Destiny due to her love of VSCO style.

Her father currently wears a pink scrunchie with white polka-dots on his wrist and told CBS 42 it is the last scrunchie Destiny asked for before her emergency surgery.

“It has so much meaning and will not come off until we walk out of this hospital,” Dustin Riekeberg said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with medical bills. As of Friday morning, more than $14,000 has been donated and the goal is $20,000.


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