Hillsboro students give special Senior Night honors to classmate who died from cancer

Stephanie Nicolas Furtado

HILLSBORO, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- Friday night football is being played in Hillsboro and it's senior night. Despite the commotion, one senior in particular is on everyone's mind.

Phoenix Spangler, who passed away from cancer in 2015.

"She was always out there and willing to meet people and tell her story and she was never nervous to share anything with people," said Alicia Katz, Phoenix's best friend.

Spangler's cancer was advanced by the time she was diagnosed. Her mother, Stephanie Nicolas Furtado, said doctors caught it too late; it was already at stage four.

"She had tumors on most of her organs and they eventually moved to her lungs when she lost her battle," says Furtado.

Spangler's class wanted to do something special in her honor, and the gestured began with special shirts the cheerleaders wore.

"I was talking to my mom about it cause she is the one who made these shirts. We can sell them to the whole school and donate the money to The Phoenix Spangler Foundation," said junior cheerleader Kenzie Bourbon.

The cheerleaders also wore bows with a golden ribbon, to signify childhood cancer, which is also honored this month.

The ribbon also adorned the back of the football players helmets.

"It gives you a sense of pride and really makes you play more for people that can't," said senior football player Zach Bodway.

When it got close to game time, the cheerleaders and football players took the field; playing to win, but also playing for Phoenix.

"It is things like this that I think she would just be really proud that her friends are still behind her," said Furtado.

For information on The Phoenix Spangler Foundation -- click here: http://www.pheonixsfighters.org/pheonix-s-fighters

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