Catholic Teen Cancer Survivor Inspires on TikTok

Tags: Currents Brooklyn, NY, Cancer, Catholic Education, Crux, Entertainment, Faith, Family, Inspiration, Media, Queens, NY, Social Media, Staten Island, Technology, Youth

By Jessica Easthope

The social media platform TikTok has skyrocketed into popularity, especially among many of the world’s teenagers.

So it was only natural for 16-year-old Isabella Ursini to use the platform’s viral dances and funny voice-overs to document her life, even when she began to live through the unimaginable.

“They said that I might have Lymphoma and at first I didn’t even know what Lymphoma was, and I was so confused about why my parents were so upset,” said Isabella.

Belle, as she’s known to her friends and family, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in February, a month after her sweet sixteen. Her mom, Tracey, was living every parent’s nightmare.

“It was horrible, just an experience no one should go through,” Tracey said.

But Belle was taking her diagnosis in stride and putting everyone around her at ease.

“She made it easier on everybody because she made light of it,” said Tracey.

Belle began chemotherapy at the height of the pandemic and was pulled out of St. Joseph Hill Academy High School on Staten Island in the middle of her sophomore year. Before the world was under quarantine, Belle became an expert at it.

“I couldn’t hang out with my friends. I became neutropenic, even before coronavirus I was quarantined,” she told Currents News.

But TikTok kept Belle connected not only to her friends, but to the rest of the world. She went viral with a video of her first chemo treatment. It has 1.3 million views. Belle finished chemo and August 5 is her last radiation session. She made it through the biggest battle of her life, and inspired so many along the way.

“I’ve had people DM me and ask me, ‘What should I say to my friend who just got diagnosed?’ And ‘Oh, it’s so good to see you acting this way while you have it,’” Belle said.

As for Belle’s future it’s looking brighter than ever and now she’s headed for the next chapter.

“The first thing I thought of when I was diagnosed was woah this is going to be a good college essay, I’m going to go places with this one,” she said.

Belle is already on her way.