Central senior gains new perspective after cancer & pandemic affect monumental year


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — When a senior at Central High School was diagnosed with cancer, it put a pause on many things in her life. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and caused her to miss out on even more during her last year of high school.

About a year ago, Liara Aber found out she had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. “I had stage two, which means it was all over my upper body,” said Aber. She began chemotherapy and eventually went into remission during that time too. “I was upset and a little bit scared.” She lost her hair and lost out on other significant things during that time too.

Aber was a varsity swimmer, soccer player and an AP student. The effects of the cancer took her out of the classroom, off the soccer field and out of the pool. “I felt weaker and it was harder,” said Aber. “There were practices where I would throw up or get dizzy and have to stop. That was hard.” Life took another turn with the COVID-19 pandemic and other monumental things in this teenager’s life were canceled.

That means no prom and no graduation ceremony. “End of senior year is the best part of all four years of high school. That’s when everything happens,” said Aber. Through all of this, Aber gained a new perspective. It made her aware that others who are sick face a daunting risk because of the coronavirus and how people with weak immune systems are very vulnerable. Especially when other people are not considerate of that. “It makes me mad when people don’t follow the guidelines and don’t take all the precautions seriously.” After remission, her immune system recovered.

Even though this year has been unconventional and very uncertain, she is looking forward to the future. “I’m really excited, especially after everything that’s happened I’m just ready to move on.” Aber will now be moving onto college. She was accepted to the University of Illinois and plans to major in political science with a minor in Spanish.

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