School formals are memorable for anyone, but for Hannah Rye it was an extra special experience.
The pair met in 2016, when Hannah was part of the 'Tren7's Kick for Kids' initiative. Hodkinson rode in the car with Hannah to the event, and even cut a cake with her in front of all of the attendees.
"He's the sweetest man, and we love him," Hannah's mother Rachel said of Trent to the Newcastle Knights.
"She'll never get another moment like this, and it's pretty special."
— Liz Farquhar (@lizfarquhar) July 20, 2017
And we are still crying over here. God bless you Hannah! Well done Kurri Kurri High School for bringing the formal forward. pic.twitter.com/wNCK5a62V9— Nothing But Knights (@NothingButNK) July 19, 2017
"It was Trent's idea to come to the formal, it was something he really wanted to do," Rachel added.
"She's been so very, very sick for the last week or two, and we didn't think she was going to make the formal."
Rye was diagnosed with the aggressive cancer Ewing's sarcoma in 2015, when she was just 13 years old. The rare form of cancer occurs most commonly in people between the ages of 10 and 20, and affects the bones and soft tissues surrounding them. After a long battle with the cancer, and intense chemotherapy, Rye was cleared of the disease just five months before it returned.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Kurri Kurri High School brought the formal forward so Hannah could attend.
While the 2017 NRL season hasn't been Hodkinson's best -- he was dropped from first-grade games in April -- career uncertainly pails in comparison to the impact he made on Hannah's formal experience.
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