Little girl fighting cancer prepares for first day of school

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SHENANDOAH, Va. (WHSV) -- The first day of school is a big moment for any child, but for one girl in Page County, it's a toast to her triumph.

Lexi Rucker was diagnosed with Leukemia at age four. Now close to age six, she's preparing for her first day of kindergarten.

Lexi's parents, Tim and Stephanie Rucker, couldn't be more proud of how far their daughter has come.

"She's a fighter," said Tim Rucker. "I love her with everything I've got."

But with that glowing pride, comes obvious nerves.

"Every mom feels the same way about their kid going to kindergarten," said Stephanie. "I think for us there's a bit of an added stress just because we know her immunity is not where it needs to be yet."

After years of doctor's visits, isolation and questions of "what if," the Rucker family is relieved that they can finally adjust Lexi to a new normal.

"Now we're at the top of the mountain," said Stephanie. "You know you look behind you to see how far she's come and a lot of kids might not remember what they've been through, especially at her age, but I think she will, I think she'll remember."

Stephanie mentioned that they'll be walking their daughter inside on her first day instead of doing a drop-off, because it's never easy for a parent to let go.

Stephanie said that Shenandoah Elementary School has been there from the beginning of Lexi's fight with cancer. Even though she wasn't a student, the school still offered a tremendous amount of support and held fundraisers in her honor.

The Ruckers are very excited that Lexi will be attending a school that has shown how much it cares for their daughter.

WHSV's Holly Stouffer will be tagging along with the family to see how Lexi's first day of school goes. Updates will be posted tomorrow morning.