Tessa Sutton, Beloved Teenager, Passes Peacefully After Courageous Battle With Cancer


_Tessa Sutton, Beloved Teenager, Passes Peacefully After Courageous Battle With Cancer

The Facebook page Team Tessa claims that Sutton passed away peacefully while surrounded by her family. A teenager Tessa Sutton, who had a terminal disease, passed away after a prolonged battle with illness. Keep reading this post to learn more details regarding her illness and her Courageous Battle With Cancer.

What happened to Tessa Sutton?

As per the  Facebook group Team Tessa, Sutton passed peacefully surrounded by her family and the statement reads the following,

At 3:09 pm our beautiful girl passed peacefully surrounded by her family. She is no longer in pain. This is how I choose to picture her now. Free from the pain of this world & just blissfully happy, hopefully playing soccer on a beach somewhere. It was our privilege to be your parents for 17 years. Love you, sis.

Tessa Sutton of Dunlap lost her battle with cancer on Friday, a few days after turning 17 years old. The impact of the Eagles’ football players extended far beyond the playing field.

With a million-dollar smile and a fiery competitive spirit, Sutton was bound for greatness. Sutton was contributing to the Eagles’ varsity offense as a freshman, but late in the year, she received a cancer diagnosis. At that point, “Team Tessa” was established, uniting area high schools to support Tessa during her battle with cancer. Sutton’s teammates and coach recall her fortitude and capacity for fostering relationships.

Who was Tessa Sutton?

Tessa Sutton, a beloved football player at Dunlap High School who had support from teams all around central Illinois and beyond throughout her struggle with cancer, passed away on Friday afternoon.

At the age of 15, Sutton received a rare malignant chest wall tumor diagnosis. Her teammates backed her up. A team from Streator, which had never met her, participated in a fundraiser and put her name on their shoes. Other opposing teams also participated.

When she received a second cancer diagnosis in 2022, she was already undergoing therapy, and surgery, and trying to make a recovery. After her parents published the following message on the Team Tessa website, she was transferred to hospice on Thursday:

“This is such a difficult post to make. First of all we want to thank our community for the endless, astonishing support and love for Tessa and all of us. It truly holds us up on the worst of our days. To realize Tessa has touched so many lives and is loved by so many is incredible and warms our hearts daily.

“Thanks to the staff here at OSF Children’s Hospital for ‘bending’ rules and allowing Tessa to see so many friends and family members including her 4-legged friend, Luca. They have all been so wonderful and are working hard to keep Tessa comfortable. They went above and beyond to make her birthday special. I’m sorry I didn’t get pictures of all the visitors she has had.

“We have come to accept that the miracle we had hoped for is not to be, and Tessa’s days are short. It breaks me to write that but it is our reality. We have decided to stop the chemo in hopes of improving her counts and decreasing her need for transfusions. She is alert at times but increasingly less so and sleeps most of the time.

She is confused at times and/or has difficulty expressing her thoughts which causes frustration for her. Bringing her home is a possibility but for the time being, we will keep her here where she is receiving great care. Her comfort is our main concern. The OSF Hospice House is also another possibility if some details can be worked out. “Please keep all of us in your prayers as we navigate this unthinkable time. Our entire family is hurting so much.”

Local deputies show support for Tessa Sutton

A local high school student battling cancer is receiving support from the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office. Both of the Dunlap School Resource Officers’ squad cars have Team Tessa graphics to show support for Tessa Sutton and her family, according to a sheriff’s office Facebook post. CJ Signs provided a donation of the graphics.

The Dunlap neighborhood recently joined together to show their love and support for Tessa on her 17th birthday by donning purple shirts. On June 10, 2021, she received a High-Grade Pleomorphic Sarcoma diagnosis. Tessa has a Go-Fund-Me set up for people who want to contribute.

_Tessa Sutton


Tessa Sutton’s Courageous Battle With Cancer

Take a moment to read Tessa Sutton’s whole story to learn how she battled her disease until the day she passed away.

According to the Gofundme page, Tessa was officially diagnosed with High-Grade Pleomorphic Sarcoma on June 10th, 2021. In the days and weeks before her diagnosis, Tessa could be found on the soccer field or hanging out with friends doing everything a 15-year-old high school girl should be doing. Tessa is competitive, super funny, and always there for those close to her.

Her story began on May 27, 2021, when Tessa asked to have a lingering pain in her right side checked out. She had mentioned the pain on a few random occasions, but the fact that Tessa had been practicing daily with her high school soccer team and participating in both JV and varsity on game days, left none of them super concerned.

However, with a day off from practice, they decided it was best to have Tessa checked out and headed to local urgent care. Agreeing with the Suttons that it was likely nothing major, the clinician decided to go ahead and do a chest x-ray just to be sure.

Tessa Sutton’s Initial Diagnosis

Unfortunately, the results were something we would all view as our greatest nightmare. Michelle and Tessa were told that some type of mass was showing up in the lower right side of Tessa’s lung. Unsure of what it might be, they were sent straight to the hospital to be directly admitted to the pediatric oncology unit for further testing and answers.

This led to a CT scan, a PET scan, and a biopsy which resulted in the need for a chest tube, and ultimately, a 6-day hospital stay they never saw coming.

As results from the tests came in, their fears were made a reality when the PET scan confirmed that the mass they had seen on the x-ray was indeed malignant and that there was also some suspected lymph node involvement.

Thankfully, all other organs appeared to be okay. Once home, after waiting for what seemed like forever, Rich, Michelle, and Tessa finally met with the doctors at St. Jude on 6/10/21 to receive the official diagnosis and get information regarding the recommended treatment plan.

Aggressive Treatment Plan: Painful Days for Tessa

Needless to say, the treatment plan is very aggressive. Tessa started with her first round of chemo on 6/13/21. She had 3 days of inpatient chemo, which were already met with nausea and vomiting and will continue to have that same regimen every 3 weeks for the next 25 weeks.

In addition to that, starting the 4th week, she will also have 4 weeks of proton radiation which will be done in Memphis. The hope for all of this is to shrink the tumor as much as possible before undergoing surgery in order to remove the tumor entirely!!!

Many have asked how they can help make a financial contribution to the Sutton family to help them get through this unimaginably difficult time, and here’s your chance!!

Our goal is to raise enough money for Rich and Michelle to be able to put all their focus on Tessa, without financial concerns weighing them down. Whether or not you are able to contribute financially at this time, we also ask that you keep the family in your thoughts and prayers.

Team Tessa - #StrongerTogether is at OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice.

Tessa Sutton Foundation


https://tessasuttonfoundation.org/ The Tessa Sutton Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded by the family and friends of Tessa Sutton who was diagnosed with a rare form of sarcoma cancer at the age of 15.

Being so close to someone who has gone through this difficult journey, we understand the importance of pediatric cancer research and support for families facing catastrophic illness.

We believe that by working together, we can make a real impact in the lives of children and families affected by cancer and catastrophic illness across Central Illinois and beyond. We are determined to make a difference, just as Tessa’s story has already made an impact on so many.

The Tessa Sutton Foundation’s mission is to relentlessly fight pediatric cancer by providing support to families facing catastrophic illness, funding innovative research, and raising awareness in our community, to ensure that no family battles cancer or catastrophic illness alone.

Our sincere Condolences will go to Tessa’s parents and friends


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