WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Denise Hale, 11, was diagnosed with Leukemia in February, and her 5-year-old sister, Janaya, was her only chance for survival.
Janaya was the only perfect matching bone-marrow donor in their family, so in July the sisters traveled to a hospital in Chapel Hill in hopes of saving Denise's life.
The bone marrow transplant went well, but doctors had to monitor Denise for 100 days, watching for signs of progress and serious complications.
Just months later, Denise made a full recovery and was able to come home.
The young girl was happy to be home and was proud she defeated Leukemia. The cancer didn't take her life, but it did change it. From here on out, life will finally get back to normal for the adolescent.
"Everybody's so happy to see her back," said Denise's mom Valeria Hale. "Even her brother and sister's messing with her - picking on her just like they was before she left!"
Denise said the year has gone fast, but she'll never forget a moment of it.
"My legs was swollen and then I went to the emergency room at Chapel Hill then came back in to get the bone marrow and then went to the Ronald McDonald house," said Denise.
Denise had to be reminded of a special request she made for her first day back home.
"I'm gonna go to the pool," said Denise earlier this year.
So, to make sure that wish came true, WECT gave her a surprise visit and threw her in the pool. After a year of rough waters, Denise is coming up for air again, happy, healthy, and finally back at home.