Oviedo teen's dream comes true amid her battle with cancer

15-year-old girl performs dance routine with Instagram idol Montana Tucker

By Carolina Cardona - Reporter

OVIEDO, Fla. - It was a dream come true for Leah Quilumba, who was diagnosed with cancer when she was 10 years old, when she got to meet her idol.

Leah has been battling the disease for five years, but recently took a break from cancer treatment to meet Instagram star, singer, actress, songwriter and dancer Montana Tucker, who is also from Florida.

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"Her cancer is a rare type of cancer, so there's really not, kind of, like, a stage for it. There is more of a kind of, like, a wait and see," Leah's mom, Wendy Baker, said. "Just to see her going through so many surgeries, it was hard. I was like, 'God, why couldn't it be me? Why her?'"

Leah has already gone through three types of chemotherapy and two surgeries to remove the tumors from the Alveolar soft sarcoma cancer she has. 

Tucker flew from Los Angeles to be part of Leah's quinceañera celebration. The pair met at a local gym in Oviedo, prior to a dance rehearsal they had together, since they share a love for dancing. 

Leah Quilumba, 15, takes break from cancer treatment to meet her idol, Montana Tucker.

"She's been dancing since she was 2 and a half. That's her passion. She's always wanted to be a dancer," Baker said. "Even until today, if you ask her, 'What do you want to be?' She's like, 'I want to be a dancer.'"'

Leah said she often felt like her time in the hospital would never end.

"It always just felt like the longest days of my life," she said. "I would just, like, scroll through Instagram and I'd usually watch dance videos."

That's when Leah found hope and inspiration through Tucker's videos. 

"It has given her a little bit of that hope that she can continue dancing," her mom said.

Tucker said her schedule is packed, but she wouldn't have missed the chance to meet Leah.

"My schedule is, like, the busiest it's ever been right now and I said, 'I don't care what I have going on. I need to be here. Whatever it takes, make it happen,' and I am just honored," Tucker said. "I know that Leah's been bullied. I've been through it. I know how hard it is and so I want to be here for Leah."

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Tucker, who has more than 2.4 million followers on Instagram, will perform a dance routine alongside Leah as part of Leah's 15th birthday celebration.  

"I have no words. Just to have her take the time to come and see my daughter, to, you know, just be a support for her -- it just means the world," Leah's mom said.

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