Durham cancer patient to get Make-A-Wish trip to Paris

DURHAM (WTVD) -- The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern North Carolina will grant wishes for over 200 children and teens with life-threatening cancers this year.

Tuesday night, they delivered the surprise of a lifetime to a Durham teenager.

Jasmine Leon didn't see it coming. A dinner date with her family at the Streets at Southpoint turned into what the Make-A-Wish Foundation called a wish delivery party.

"It's awesome. I feel like it's too much for me. I feel very special and honored," Leon said.

Two years ago, Jasmine was 17 and diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. The active athlete at Durham's Riverside High was slowed down by what became six months of cancer treatment.

"All of a sudden, everything's fine; she's playing sports in high school and next thing you know, you've got this thing growing inside you. [It was a] very scary time for us" said Jasmine's dad, Jerry Leon.

Jasmine's body responded well to the chemo. Now, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern North Carolina is responding to her wish. The charity is sending Jasmine on a one-week vacation to Paris.

"I've always been obsessed with Paris," she said. "The culture, the language, I want to see the Eiffel Tower, that's the biggest thing. And yes, the shopping!"

Reeds Jewelers at Southpoint hosted the wish delivery party. Reeds is footing the bill for Jasmine's Parisian excursion.

"[Reeds] gave her some 'Alex and Ani' bracelets, which are the hottest new thing," said Kristen Johnson, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern North Carolina. "And [the jeweler] is letting her pick out a couple of items to go with it. So we're really excited for Jasmine."

"I think she deserves this because she's been a strong person and I know she's going to be helping other people through this as well," said Jerry Leon.

Jasmine has been in remission for a year-and-a-half. She's currently enrolled in nursing school studying to be an oncology nurse. She said she hopes to inspire other patients fighting cancer.

Jasmine and her family leave for Paris on August 1.

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