ADDISON, Ala. – Sept. 16, 2022, was a special night in Addison. It was homecoming, and the Bulldogs took on Waterloo, but that wasn’t the highlight of the evening. After the homecoming court was announced, 1-year-old Saige Hall, who is battling stage 3 kidney cancer, was crowned homecoming princess. According to her mom, Sadie Hall, there was not a dry eye in sight.
“When we got the call saying that the senior class wanted to honor her in a big way, I never would’ve guessed this is what they had planned. There were honestly no words, just tears. We just felt so honored that people wanted to recognize her at all, especially something as big as this. It was a special night that I will never forget,” Hall said. “There are no words to really express the gratitude we have for them to do this. Walking across the field, the love and support was just beaming from the stands. It was just incredible for them to choose a night as special as homecoming to honor her. It was incredibly humbling to see a big crowd on that night. We’ve had so much support through this process, so it was nice to see everyone.”
Hall talked about her daughter’s cancer and what the process has been like for her and her family.
“She was diagnosed with stage 3 kidney cancer – Wilms’ tumor – 12 days after her first birthday. Wilms’ tumor is the most common type of kidney cancer in children. We were told it has a 90% survival rate. Her tumor was 12 cm and it had taken up about half of her abdomen. There’s not a known cause of how they come about, but more than likely, she was born with it. We definitely have our good and bad days as any parent would, but we are overall hopeful and remaining strong in our faith that she is in God’s hands and we believe that He will heal her,” she said. “We go for chemotherapy once a week and we are hopeful that she’ll have surgery to remove the tumor, kidney and kidney tubes very soon. Saige has handled her treatments really well, which I think has really helped us get through this whole process.”
Hall graduated from Addison and currently lives there. She teaches and coaches volleyball at Haleyville. She said both communities have been an enormous help during this whole process.
“It’s been overflowing. We’ve had two communities going to war for us since Saige was diagnosed. They’ve both organized fundraisers, sold T-shirts, bracelets, had car washes, donations, etc. You name it, they’ve done it. My co-workers at Haleyville donated enough days for me to have the entire school year off to be with Saige,” she said. “I’ll never be able to repay for what all has been done for us. Our family just feels so blessed to be a part of two incredible communities that love us. That’s the thing about small towns: when their people are going through something, they come running to help in any way they can. We just happen to be blessed enough to be a part of two of them.”
Hall gave families also dealing with cancer some advice.
“We had someone open a bank account for Saige at BankFirst; it’s named SaigeStrong. We’ve had several people do that, along with the other fundraisers people have put together for her,” she said. “We believe God chose our daughter by name for this battle. We believe He’s using her and her testimony to glorify Him. I encourage anyone going through this to learn to praise God on the good and bad days. It’s not easy, but we have really leaned on our faith in this situation. It’s OK to accept help from others. People want to help, so do your best to be open to accepting it. That can be hard, too, but let people love on you.”
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