LAKE ORION, Mich. (FOX 2) - When a young lady is starting her senior year in high school and is forced to start cancer treatment at the same time, it can be devastating. So when that treatment ends, there's reason to celebrate.
Strutting down the runway with grace, confidence and strength. Many would say that's exactly how 17-year-old Makayla Allen tackled cancer.
"I wasn't sick leading up to it, (and I) didn't feel pain. There was just a lump on my neck," Allen said, "And then I went to the doctor, they said 'you have a 13 centimeter mass in my chest.'"
It was Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system. A shock for the family of the girl who's always been so athletic and healthy.
"We were overcome with emotion, it was unbelievable wondering why," said Allen's dad. "Basically you just have to start the process of healing and acceptance."
Healing meant chemotherapy and radiation - all starting as the senior began her final year at Lake Orion High School.
"I would have to go to school, and that was hard," Allen said. "I didn't want to show the kids at school me suffering so I would just try to do my makeup and hair and all that stuff for school, but it was hard."
Finishing treatment means ringing the bell at Beaumont and the celebration continued on a Friday night at the Legacy Center in Oxford.
It was a fasion show-themed party to celebrate Makayla - all thanks to the non profit KidsGala.
"We gift party to children who have gone through some life-alterling event," said Kimberly Britt of KidsGala.
Allen knows she'll look back at her senior year as teaching her big lessons in and out of the classroom.
"Whatever happens in your life, it's just a hurdle, it's just a pause," Allen said, "but that shouldn't affect how you go through your daily life. Just be you and have fun."
Allen will need to go through a scan and doctors will hopefully give her the all clear. And then she will really be able to put this behind her.