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Brave teen who attended school formal with Newcastle Knights star Trent Hodkinson dies

“Even when she was very sick she was always smiling.”

By Candice Mehta-Culjak
The brave teenager who captured the hearts of Australians everywhere when she attended her high school formal with NRL star Trent Hodkinson has tragically passed away from cancer.
Hannah Rye, 15, died over the weekend after a two-year battle with Ewing's Sarcoma -- a rare form of cancer that caused tumours to grow around her spine.
She has been remembered by family and friends as inspiring, kind and forever-smiling.
Local football coach Michael Hurn told The Daily Telegraph Hannah had "inspired" the local community.
"Even when she was very sick she was always smiling," he said.
A friend, Maddy Ritchie, shared a similar sentiment on Facebook.
"You were the kindest and one of the most happiest & smiliest girl I had ever met," she wrote. "Will forever be a strong & amazing warrior. You will be truly missed beautiful, rest now and forever in the arms of god in eternal peace and love."
In July, the terminally ill teenager was escorted to her school formal by the captain of the Newcastle Knights and NSW State of Origin rep. Her school, Kurri Kurri High, brought the formal forward to make sure she could participate.
Hodkinson held her hand the whole car ride and took her by the arm to walk her inside the formal. They even cut a cake once inside the venue.
Her mother, Racheal Rye, said it was "like Cinderella and her knight in shining armour."
"It was absolutely a magical moment when Trent turned up with a big bunch of flowers at our house. A perfect night," she previously told The Daily Telegraph.
"No girl could have asked for a better date. He was a perfect gentleman. He stayed for as long as she needed and helped cut the cake."
Hodkinson was praised for his beautiful gesture.
Fan Luke Morrison praised the Newcastle Knights superstar for taking "this beautiful young girl to her formal."
"She may look perfectly happy in this photo but this poor little girl has Ewing sarcoma terminal cancer," he wrote.
"Meaning at this very time she has a very high dosage of morphine just to keep all her pain away."
He added: "To donate your time no matter who you are to anybody whose worse off says about you as a person [sic]."
Hodkins commitment to charities is well-known, with the player an ambassador for both Give Me 5 for Kids and RSPCA and his TREN7S Kick for Kids initiative in which he dedicates games to sick kids and writes their name on his kicking tee.
Our thoughts are with Hannah's family and friends during this unimaginably difficult time.

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