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Cancer overtakes ‘a little trooper’

"Marchelle Tabtab, the Port Orchard-area girl who bravely fought a form of childhood cancer, lost her battle Monday morning.She died at home with her family at her side, said Nita Jaraczewski, a family friend and co-worker of Marchelle’s father, Manny.Marchelle, 10, returned home last week after a month of hospitalization and chemotherapy ended with doctors telling the Tabtabs that she had only a short time left to live.“I don’t want to lose my little girl, but it’s inevitable,” her father said last Thursday. Marchelle, as reported in the Independent last year, suffered from neuroblastoma, a cancer that starts in the adrenal gland of children. After a year’s worth of chemotherapy, blood transfusions and new bone marrow, the disease went into remission in May 1998. It came back this year.Marchelle was “a little trooper” in the eyes of her father, family and friends. So is the whole family, said Jaraczewski.“Even during the difficult times they’ve been through, they make you feel better when you talk to them. My husband and I were talking about that after we visited them” Dec. 7, Jaraczewski said.She helped reopen a fund in Marchelle’s name at Kitsap Bank. Contributions to help the family defray expenses related to Marchelle’s death can be made at any branch. The account number is 0480591720. Jaraczewski, who has worked with Manny Tabtab for nine years at the Navy’s Trident facility in Bangor, can answer questions at 876-6101.Tabtab said support of his family, including the visitors last week to see and comfort Marchelle, her siblings and parents “has been overwhelming. So many friends, so much kindess. We knew it before, and we know it even more now that she’s going home to God.”"

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