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Cornelius News

Torie Costa, 20, led a full life: Services Sunday, Monday


Jan. 1. A few weeks before Christmas, Torie Costa’s friends gathered outside Hemby Children’s Hospital, holding candles they hoped she could see from her room.  The beautiful 20-year-old from Cornelius was diagnosed with Stage 4 Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma in 2012 at age 16.  The soft-tissue cancer had developed on her diaphragm, collarbone, and pelvis and had spread to her lymph nodes.

RELATED: Torrie Costa Obituary

Torie spent her senior year undergoing radiation and chemotherapy.  She lost her waist-length hair.  While her peers were preparing for college, going to prom, and enjoying the freedom of youth, Torie was homebound and confined to bed much of the time.

But the circle of support surrounding Torie only grew.  Her friends voted her prom queen.  In 2013, the Little Smiles Foundation helped her compete in the Miss North Carolina Teen USA pageant.  Make-A-Wish sponsored a dream trip with her family to New York and the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.  “Currents Magazine” named her Lake Norman’s Next Top Model in 2014.

“She had a big support network that included UNC-Charlotte, many in the NASCAR world and an incredibly loving family.  They’d rallied around her for years,” said Molly Grantham of WBTV, who has followed Torie’s progress through her “Molly’s Kids” feature.

VIDEO: Torie Costa | A Story Of Courage and Inspiration

Torie was cancer-free for almost two years.  She started college at UNC-Charlotte, began volunteering at Little Smiles, started growing her hair again.

Torie’s radiance was captured earlier this year in a video she shot with North Carolina Little Smiles Founder Margi Kyle. Torie, her head covered with a colorful scarf, smiles as she describes the trials of hospitalization and treatment and the love she’s felt along the way.

Echoing what many have said about Torie herself, Torie called Kyle “the little silver lining in all this experience.”

In her hospital room on Christmas night, Torie lost her battle with cancer.  As Torie’s spirit left the earth, a halo appeared around the moon.