Homecoming princess asked that people remember good times

Staff writerDecember 12, 2013 

tumwater homecoming

Ninth-grade princess Rachael Buck (center) and Kaitlyn Golphenee pose for a commemorative photo after the Tumwater High School Homecoming student assembly, October 25, 2013. Buck's selection by the student body was inspired by her struggle with cancer for the last year and a half.

PETER HALEY — Staff photographer

Just about six weeks after being crowned a homecoming princess, Tumwater High School freshman Rachael Buck died of cancer. She was 14.

“During her short time at THS, she taught us all how to fight, persevere through hardship and deeply care for others,” principal Jeff Broome said in a statement that was read to students on Wednesday morning during first period. “In conversations with Rachael and her family, Rachael wished that people would not be sad when she is no longer with us, but rather remember the great things about her, and the wonderful times spent with her.”

Broome said memorial service information is not yet available; however students will have a chance to remember Rachael during a school assembly on Dec. 20.

In addition, school officials made some space available in the library for students who needed extra support during the school day, Broome said.

Rachael grew up in Littlerock and attended schools in the Tumwater School District. In August 2012, she began treatment for osteosarcoma, the most common bone cancer for children.

In addition to chemotherapy and radiation, Rachael endured several surgeries and battled some major infections during the past year.

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