'There's nothing more important really than living another day'
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COOS BAY, Ore. - Every 16-year-old has dreams.
"I want to meet Taylor Swift. I want to shoot hoops with the Trailblazers. I want to go skydiving," said Natalie Hill.
Pictures and collages fill the walls of Hill's bedroom. Stuffed animals hang overhead, keeping watch over the tiara and sash that honored her as homecoming princess last year.
But not everything fits right.
"You don't have all that huge future you thought you were going to have, so you have that different perspective of time," Natalie said.
Time once seemed endless to the Coos Bay teen.
Then in 2010, Hill was diagnosed with osteosarcoma.
She went through rounds of chemotherapy, losing her hair and part of her leg.
But the cancer came again, this time to her lungs.
In September, doctors said they wouldn't continue operating on her lungs - something Natalie's mom Shaunne found hard to swallow.
"You wake up every day hoping that we're going to make one more day and that we're going to get through this one way or another. We're gonna find a cure," she said. "It's just darnright scary."
So with time working against her, Natalie put together her own "bucket list."
"A bucket list is a list of things you want to see, do, accomplish," she said, "before you kick the bucket.
She posted the list on her Facebook page to update her friends, and it all started coming together, one by one.
Number one on her list: Pet a tiger.
Go to Alaska and see the Northern Lights.
Number 36? Ride in a limo.
The last thing on her list: reach 10,000 Facebook likes.
It's a reach, but a girl can dream - and surpass those dreams: As of Feb. 9, 2012, almost 14,700 people had liked Natalie Hill Updates on Facebook.
Natalie checks things off her bucket list with her best friend Sam Ring, who has been there through thick and thin. Sam even goes to the hospital with Hill.
So when Natalie left public school to start home-schooling, Sam did, too, so Natalie wouldn't be alone.
"Natalie's my best friend, and I know if I were in her same position, she'd be doing the same thing for me," Sam said. "It's more of not putting things off, but putting Natalie where I think she deserves to be in my life.
So number 28 on the bucket list is special: get a tattoo. The design features their initials and the date Dec. 15, their birthday.
"One year, we stayed up all night on our birthday, hoping it would snow," Natalie said, "and it finally snowed that next morning! And we were all excited because it was our birthday and its never snowed on our birthday."
And one of the sweetest moments on the bucket list?
"You see it in teenage movies," Natalie said. "It's a teenage clich I didn't want to miss out on."
The goal: have a boy sneak through her window.
And like a scene out of a movie, he came.
With her thousands of Facebook fans rooting her on as she races to finish what she started, Natalie takes comfort and keeps her head high.
"Keep pushing through it and don't quit," she said, "because in the end, it's going to be worth it. There's nothing more important really than living another day."