From Chemotherapy to Homecoming Queen

By Julie Fine
|  Friday, Oct 11, 2013  |  Updated 11:01 PM CDT
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Taylor Helland who was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2011 and finally returned to this year's homecoming cancer free was crowned homecoming queen.

Julie Fine, NBC 5 News

Taylor Helland who was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2011 and finally returned to this year's homecoming cancer free was crowned homecoming queen.

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An Arlington Martin student who is finally cancer-free was crowned homecoming queen Friday night.

Taylor Helland was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2011. She had 12 rounds of chemotherapy and a high-risk surgery, but the cancer returned seven months later.

"It was very devastating, and doctors said there was a zero percent cure for her," said her mother, Julia.

But the Arlington Martin senior kept on living.

"From the beginning, I pretty much knew it wasn't going to beat me," she said. "I was going to beat it."

She had more surgery and more chemo. Finally, Helland is cancer-free

"I just knew I was going to get through everything -- have a normal senior year and go to homecoming," she said. "It was a kind of a goal of mine."

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Her band mates nominated Helland for homecoming court, and she was crowned homecoming queen. But just being there was enough.

"It had been awesome to know I accomplished that goal, that I am able to be here, have fun and just be a normal senior," she said.

And her parents are looking forward to every minute with her.

"I try and say how proud we are of her, and I just don't have the words," said her father, Bob.

Now, Helland is fighting for other cancer patients. She's asking people to get involved in the American Cancer Society's Cancer Prevention Study-3. The study of a diverse population of 300,000 across the country and Puerto Rico will help researchers better understand what factors cause or prevent cancer.

"It will benefit, hopefully benefit, people in the future," she said.

For more information on how to participate in the voluntary, long-term study, visit the CPS-3 website, email cps3@cancer.org or call 1-888-604-5888. You can also take a look at the Texas locations for the study here.

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