The parents of Mt Vincent teenager Hannah Rye, who lost her courageous battle with cancer this week, said it has been a privilege and an honour to be her parents.
Racheal Rye said her daughter’s light will continue to shine and her legacy will be profound.
Hannah stole everyone’s hearts when she was escorted to her formal last month by Knights player Trent Hodkinson.
Mrs Rye said her daughter was a very special soul.
“She shined so very brightly with a smile that just lit up a nation.
“We have had the most incredible past 14 weeks completing everything on her wish list – Great Barrier Reef, New Zealand and her school formal,” Mrs Rye said.
“She wished to pass away peacefully at home with us by her side and it has been our honour and privilege to be her parents.
“Her light will continue to shine and her legacy will be profound,” Mrs Rye said.
Kurri Kurri High School broke the news to the community on Facebook.
“As you are aware we lost our beautiful Hannah last night. We will all be grieving and I ask for you all to be kind to one another and help support our students and community through this tough time. If anyone feels they need time out or someone to talk to please see a teacher and ask for help,” the post said.
The school has provided support to Hannah and her family since she was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma when she was just 13-years-old.
Earlier this year Hannah and her NRL partner were guests of honour at a special Year 10 formal which was brought forward when news came that Hannah’s health was deteriorating.
At the time her school principal Tracey Breese, said the formal was the result of an overwhelming community and school effort and one that would create many beautiful memories for Hannah and her family.
“She was the star of the show and all her friends were cheering and so happy that she was able to go to the event. She certainly brought a smile to my face,” Hodkinson said of the formal.
“This has been so good for Hannah and her family and bringing awareness to Ewing’s Sarcoma. Hannah and her family are such brave and strong people.”
Friends rallied to make over the family’s garden while they were recently in New Zealand visiting relatives. Family friend and backyard makeover coordinator Annette Wade said many people were touched by Hannah’s story and rallied to help. The idea was to raise spirits and funds to help ease the Rye family burden, while Hannah’s dad was off work to spend with her.