The beautiful and courageous life of Hannah Rye

Kristine Tarbert

Hannah Rye captured the nation’s heart with her smile and her courage.

She made headlines last month when Newcastle Knights NRL player Trent Hodkinson was able to take Hannah to her school formal.

But the 15-year-old has sadly lost her fight with cancer.

Hannah Rye made headlines when she went to her formal with Trent Hodkinson. Photo: Newcastle Knights

“I will hold you in my heart until I can hold you in heaven,” her sister Annaliese posted in a touching tribute on Facebook.

Hannah, from the NSW Hunter region, was first diagnosed with a rare type of cancer called Ewing sarcoma when she was just 13-years-old.

All of a sudden she went from a care-free teenager with not much to worry about to fighting a battle with a rare and aggressive disease.

Hannah was first diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma when she was 13. Photo: Facebook

She had just started dancing when problems with her back became the first signs something wasn't quite right.

“Originally, we thought she had just pulled a muscle and there appeared to be small knot in her back so we just started massaging it and the pain would come. But it progressively got worse,” her mother Rachael told the Maitland Mercury at the time.

A few months later while on holiday with her family she started to lose control of her legs and the pain became unbearable. And after weeks of tests and worsening pain the devastating diagnosis came.

Ewing sarcoma is a type of cancer found in bones or soft tissue, leaving Hannah fighting for her life.

Hannah's sister Annaliese posted a touching tribute online. Photo: Facebook

She underwent multiple rounds of one of the most intensive chemotherapy programs on offer to fight the cancer and at first things were looking promising.

“I don’t like to cry ... but I have, a lot. Most of the time I just pretend nothing’s wrong. But I know there is,” Hannah said in 2015.

Hannah had actually been cleared of active cancer until tragically, just five months later, it returned.

Newcastle Knights player Trent Hodkinson takes Hannah to her school formal. Photo: Twitter

But the brave teen wasn’t going to let her battle stop her from attending her Year 10 Winter formal at Kurri Kurri school.

And the nation watched as her dream came true and her favourite NRL player Trent Hodkinson took her to the formal.

RELATED: Hannah loses cancer battle after fulfilling formal dream
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“She was the star of the show and all her friends were cheering and so happy that she was able to go to the event. She certainly brought a smile to my face,” Trent, who first met Hannah in 2016, said after the formal.

Hannah was a massive Knights fan and first met Trent in 2016. Photo: Twitter

Her sister Annaliese was overjoyed that Hannah got to have that experience.

“I felt nothing but pride on this day Hanni, to watch you walk into your year 10 formal with Trent on your arm. I have never been happier,” she wrote on Facebook.

“I'm so proud to be able to call you my sister. I love you baby girl, forever and always.”

Hannah and her sister Annaliese before her formal. Photo: Facebook

As news of her passing spreads, tributes have been flowing online, not only from the rugby league community, but the entire country.

“Forever a beautiful young lady. Rest in Peace,” NRL commentator Andrew Voss posted on Twitter.

Rest in Peace Hannah.

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