LITTLE AXE—From school stresses to peer pressure on social media, today’s teens face enormous challenges. One eighth grade student in Little Axe, though, has faced a major challenge that very few are forced to deal with.

Rachel Scott, 14, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2016. According to Ashley Baker, a pediatric oncologist for the Jimmy Everest Center, “Rachel was one of our

Rachel and family attend an OU football game.
Photo: Provided

challenging patients. We saw her in clinic about one month before we were able to diagnose her with leukemia.”

Since the diagnosis was made, Rachel—the daughter of Cindy and Pastor Bryce Scott of Little Axe, Cornerstone Indian—has undergone countless medical treatments, including dozens of spinal taps, chemotherapy treatments, hospital stays and doctors’ visits, amounting to more than two years of bad days and good days.

Through it all, Rachel, who made a profession of faith in Christ at Indian Falls Creek, has held tightly to the hope she has in Jesus Christ.

Her favorite Bible verse is Jer. 29:11, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

That verse is inscribed on purple-pink-colored wrist bands, along with the phrase “Rachel’s Courage,” which she and her parents and brothers hand out to people they encounter.

Prior to discovering her disease, Rachel was involved in numerous activities, including cheerleading, Native American dancing competitions, soccer and more.

The chemotherapy treatments brought with them numerous negative side effects, including hair loss and a period of time in which Rachel was unable to

People wear ‘Rachel’s Courage’ wrist bands as a prayer reminder.
Photo: Brian Hobbs


“The chemo has been hard on her. We’ve been at the hospital a lot,” Cindy said.

In spite of many challenges that came, encouragement for the Scott family has come in many forms, including the Cornerstone Indian Church fellowship rallying to help.

“Our church family has prayed for us and stood with us,” Bryce said. “It is my job as pastor to encourage them, but they have encouraged us through these hard days.”

Rachel’s Little Axe Cheerleading Coach, Shandelle Self, has selflessly encouraged Rachel throughout the journey. Rachel and Shandelle were recently featured on a KFOR-TV News Channel 4 broadcast.

“At the time Rachel was diagnosed, I told her she would be an honorary cheerleader and when she could, she would always have a spot on our team,” Coach Self said. “Fast forward to the past summer (of 2017)… and I got a message from Rachel’s mom that she was cleared to cheer.”

Without delay, Rachel was at the next practice, cheering her heart out. After spending a brief period of time doing home school, Rachel is now back at Little Axe Middle School, and is

Rachel with her cheerleading coach and mentor Shandelle Self.
Photo: Provided

doing well in class.

“Rachel loves to paint and even has joined the tennis team,” Cindy said. “We weren’t sure Rachel would be able to play tennis, but she did—and she even won at a recent tournament.”

When asked what God has taught her through her trials, Rachel has learned to trust the Lord and to try to bless others who are struggling.

“As we spent time at (OU) Children’s Hospital, we could typically tell when a new child (patient) was there, and Rachel would always go out of her way to be kind to the other kids,” Cindy said.

The family has been able to share their testimony at various events, including at some conferences that were not faith-based.

“We are trusting the Lord as our pilot,” Bryce said. “He will make a way for Rachel and for everyone who trusts in Him.”

When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, “I want to be a Pediatrician and help kids,” she said with a smile.

As she continues to journey through this trial, Rachel is already helping other kids—and countless other people—as she grows up.

God’s plans to give Rachel “a hope and a future” are evident to her family and to any who meet this bright young lady. Rachel’s courage, in the end, comes from Christ’s strength.