A week before she was set to perform in a lead role in her school's musical, high school senior Monica Tipperreiter discovered she had a benign brain tumor and needed emergency surgery.
Tipperreiter, who was cast in the role of "Lily" in Mundelein High School's production of "The Secret Garden," said she began noticing that she would see double when she looked down and knew something was wrong.
Almost immediately, she was taken into surgery and was forced to miss the production she had been preparing for.
"I had been practicing a whole year for it," she said. "I was so ready. I got the part."
But friends and cast members weren't going to let surgery keep the teen from performing her "dream role."
Almost the entire cast and crew decided to come back during the summer months for a special performance of the show, featuring Tipperreiter.
"It was easy," said theater director Jonathan Meier. "The second we said 'Let's do this' everyone was on board immediately."
"The day that I went down to the hospital I talked to [the instructors and cast] and they said 'Ya, we're going to do this for you. We're going to come back in the summer," said Tipperreiter. "I'm so grateful."
The Friday show was free, but donations would be accepted at the performance and half of the donations will be given to Lurie Children's Hospital, where Monica had her surgery.
Special seats were set aside for Tipperreiter's family.
"I want it to be good," Tipperreiter said. "I'm going to be really focused on that, but I also just want to have fun."