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Oct 6, 2013 1:33 AM by Sam Salzwedel

Cancer patient takes last pills before fundraising walk

TUCSON - A 14-year-old girl just took her last chemotherapy drugs to fight leukemia.

In June 2010, Hailey Lugo was tired and nauseous. Her bruises would not heal. Her family from Rio Rico learned she had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

Her mom, Lorena Lugo, had to take time off her teaching job in Nogales to help the fight.

"It's probably the worst thing you want to hear," she said, "short of that your child is dead."

Hailey had to take about 300 shots, 20 spinal taps and thousands of pills during the battle.

"If you were me, you don't really have a choice," she said. "If you want to live, you have to do everything that you can."

Lugo's friends and family went to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's fund-raising walk at Reid Park Saturday night, where Hailey swallowed her last pills.

"It's amazing," she said. "I'm finally at the end of my tunnel."

About 2,500 people went to the Light the Night event.

About 22,000 people in Arizona are fighting blood cancers.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society invested $70 million in research last year. Since 1999, $5 million went to projects in Arizona.

LLS gave $44 million in financial aid to families fighting cancer last year.

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