South Shore teen loses her battle with cancer

MONTREAL – A South Shore community is in mourning after 16-year-old Iman Merali lost her battle with cancer on Thursday.

The High School student was fighting a rare form of cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma.

Doctors only gave her six months to a year to live, but Iman managed to push the limits.

“Normally kids don’t even stretch to a year with that cancer,” said her mother.

“She battled for two and half years, so that says everything, that she gave it her all.”

At Tuesday’s funeral in the Town of Mont-Royal, hundreds showed up to pay their respects to her family.

Bus loads of students from Heritage Regional High School also came to the funeral to remember their friend.

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“She was really caring,” her friend Domnique Donckers told Global News.

“She was always there for others and even when she got cancer, she still came to school and brought us cupcakes. She was really great.”

She left a lasting impression on the school principal and teachers.

Her drama teacher, Natalie Small was especially emotional.

“I worshipped her, she was a really strong kid.”

In July, Iman told Global News about her wish to meet her favourite band, One Direction.

In the end, she managed to get tickets to the sold out concert, and the band sang her “Happy Birthday.”

READ MORE: A “One Direction” wish come true

Iman even wrote a book telling her story and sharing her dreams for the future.

“Her book is not about today, her book is about ten years from now,” explained Helen Georgaklis from the Kid’s Write Club.

“The title is Karina Couture and the cover is actually her design. It’s full of her dress designs. In this way, we get to share her story and keep her alive forever.”

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Now her mother, Nash said that what’s keeping the family going is that Iman is finally at peace.

“When she was unconscious, I sat with her and held her hand and said, ‘Fly with angels sweetheart. Go, you’re free of pain, go.'”

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