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Loudoun Teen With Terminal Cancer Hopes To See Father | News

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Loudoun Teen With Terminal Cancer Hopes To See Father
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SOUTH RIDING, Va. (WUSA) - Eighteen-year-old Zhara Khan's dream was to work in the fashion industry. But a modeling shoot, donated by a friend, may be the closest she gets.

Two years ago, at sixteen, right after moving to South Riding and transferring into Freedom High School, Zhara was diagnosed with an extremely aggressive form of ovarian cancer that kept coming back.

"Now I have eight or nine little tumors and one big tumor in my rectum. And eight or nine little tumors from my bladder to my liver all lined up. So I'm under hospice care. Really, there's no more treatment they can do for me because we did all the chemotherapy we could, and your body can only take so much radiation," said Zhara.

Her South Riding community has put its collective arms around Zhara, surprising the teen with relentless generosity. Two women, interior designers, have given Zhara a brand new ultra-cool and fashionable red and black bedroom. It's got a big bed with chandelier above it, some sleek lamps and a vibrant modern art piece one of the women painted herself.

Other neighbors have signed up to bring the family meals for the next three months. Another woman got the ball rolling to get Zhara an honorary high school diploma.

Her mother, Rafia Janjua, says she didn't think to ask for an honorary diploma because she says the school didn't treat her daughter well when she could not make it to class because of her illness. Janjua says they accused her of skipping school even though she told them she was ill.

Wade Byard, Loudoun County School's spokesperson, says Freedom High School "bended over backwards" to help Zhara. Zhara disagrees. She says they never seemed to care that she could not make it to school and only sent her assignments or 'busy work' to complete.

"She was brilliant before she got sick," says Hassan Ahmed, Zhara's uncle. He says the high school never got the chance to see just how smart his niece was.

On Friday, November 12, Byard says Freedom's principal and some teachers will present Zhara with an honorary diploma at her home. While that's welcome news to Zhara, something that would bring her even more joy is to see her father once again.

Her mother says Zhara's father was in the United States Army Reserves but was deported to Pakistan after he made a mistake and committed fraud. Zhara was only two. She did see her father on a visit to Pakistan four years ago but says it would make her very happy to see him again.

Zhara understands the political and emotional barriers in place that may prevent a visit, but her friends are working on it.

Written by Peggy Fox
9NEWS NOW & wusa9.com

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