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St. Louis teen continued to model as she fought cancer

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ST. LOUIS (AP) – A St. Louis teen has received significant attention on the Internet as she continued to model professionally while fighting cancer.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that photos of 17-year-old Zaria McDonald going to prom in a St. Louis designer’s dress went viral on social media. She had lost her hair from chemotherapy.

McDonald was fighting an extremely aggressive form of cancer from a synovial sarcoma tumor in her knee. The malignant soft tissue cancer affects less than three people per million.

McDonald was declared cancer-free on April 25, the Monday after prom.

McDonald began modeling for Lillian Jones’ Laha children’s clothing line when she was 14.

Nasheli Juliana Ortiz Gonzalez, an assistant fashion design professor at Lindenwood University, says that when she met McDonald in 2013, she was immediately charmed by the teen’s maturity and confidence.