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Community helping complete bucket list of local girl battling brain tumor

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Wausau (WAOW) - Many of us have a bucket list, but how often do we actually complete the things on it?

Our day-to-day life often gets in the way, causing us to put some of our biggest “wants” in life aside.

But when time becomes uncertain, priorities seem to change.

Claire Hornby is proof of that.

One day, she was a nine-year-old girl running around with barely any worries in the world.

The next, she’s a nine-year-old girl battling an inoperable brain tumor.

It’s a harsh reality and a family’s worst nightmare, but the news hasn’t stopped Claire from living life to the fullest.

In fact, it’s encouraged her to do just that.

"She really sustains me. Her phrase for a long time, especially during radiation was 'Let's go, it's time to go, let's go do it, whatever it is, let's go do it,'” Kirsten, Claire’s mom, said.

Sometimes, living life to the fullest requires pulling out that bucket list. Goat Yoga, New York City, a demolition derby, going to the ocean and working with animals are just a few things on Claire’s.

Since posting that list on Facebook, Kirsten says the community has come together to make most of the items happen.

"Were trying to squish a lifetime into the time we have together and it's really exciting to see so many people coming together to make it happen for her and wanting to bring her joy and help her find the joy in every day,” Kirsten said.

There was another thing on Claire’s list that News 9 thought it could help with.

Claire has always wanted to host a TV show of funny things kids say, based off ABC’s “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” She often watches the show and says “It’s fun to see what the kids will say.”

So News 9 decided to invite Claire to the studio so she could try hosting the show with her friends, while being recorded.

In order to give Claire the full “on-air” experience, State College of Beauty Culture stepped in to help make the kids “camera ready.” Claire and her three friends from church spent the afternoon at the beauty school, getting their makeup and hair done.

The moment made everyone involved feel special.

“It’s invigorating, the fact that we get to bring this little girl's dream to life,” said Emily Chariton, a cosmetology instructor at State College of Beauty Culture. "It is a great moment when they're just like 'Oh my gosh! I didn't think I could do that.' Moments like those are what makes doing hair and being part of this school is all about.”

After visiting the beauty school, Claire and her friends headed back over to WAOW to record their show. Claire’s face lit up as she sat behind the anchor desk, asking her friends numerous questions. Her mom watched proudly from the studio.

"It's just so rewarding to see her face everyday with as little fear and as much courage as possible,” Kirsten said. “She just shows up and she just does it every day. It's a real blessing to be with her and to share the journey and to be able to give her the care that she needs."

It was a day everyone involved won’t forget.

Claire’s strength, courage and “let’s go” attitude inspires many in the community, which is probably why so many people are coming forward to help make sure every item on her bucket list is checked off.

To see the list for yourself, and to read more about Claire’s fight, please click here.

Ally Peters

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