- Published on Saturday, 16 June 2012 13:35
- Written by Bryan Boukari
- Hits: 1025
L-R: Allie Powell, D'Aisha Porter
ALACHUA – The last week has been a rough start to summer for the Mebane Middle School family and friends and those of two students who died in the last week, one from a drowning and the other from cancer. Both just completed seventh grade at the school.
Allie Powell of Alachua drowned Thursday, June 7 while swimming at Miramar Beach, Fla. in the Panhandle. Powell was reportedly swimming with her father and other family members when she was caught in a powerful rip current that evening. Powell’s father was also caught in the rip current and required resuscitation, reports say. A sheriff’s deputy who tried to rescue Powell was also taken to an area hospital for treatment.
Allie Powell was a member of Fellowship Church of High Springs and traveled for mission work to Haiti, Costa Rica and El Salvadore. She leaves behind her parents, Jeff and Jane Powell of Alachua and siblings, Tyler, Austin and Ashlynn.
D’Aisha Porter, also a 13-year-old Mebane student, lost her battle with cancer on Tuesday, June 12. Since 2009, Porter had been fighting the rare form of cancer known as Clear Cell Sarcoma.
Students at Mebane rallied around Porter, most notably in a March 23 celebration declared D’Aisha’s Pink Passion Day. The students transformed the school’s colors from black and gold to pink to support Porter in her battle against the disease and to raise funds for her treatment.
Porter’s parents, Tonnetta and Wayne, felt their daughter’s strength was incredible. Despite her struggles, in an interview earlier this year, Wayne Porter said of his daughter that she remembers to keep a smile on her face in and out of the hospital.
Porter, herself, commented at the time, “I found out myself that frowning just makes me sicker.”
Also in an interview earlier this year, Tonnetta Porter said of D’Aisha, “She does not allow her sickness to hold her back, and in spite of it she still manages to keep up with her school work, chores at home and enjoys free time with friends.”
As of late March, Porter had undergone 15 surgeries and exhausted all possible treatments available at Gainesville medical facilities as well as the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. The family had been looking at treatment options available outside of the United States.
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