MUNDELEIN, Ill. (WLS) --A Mundelein High School graduate finally got her moment in the spotlight after a brain tumor forced her off the stage in April.
The cast reunited Friday night to give Monica Tipperreiter a chance to play the leading role she had practiced for months.
It's a role she believes she was born to play: Lily in the musical "A Secret Garden."
On Friday night, three months after her scheduled performance was delayed by emergency brain surgery, Tipperreiter is finally able to sing the songs she'd rehearsed for months.
"All I could think about the day we found out that I had abrain tumor was, 'Am I going to miss the show?'" said Tipperreiter.
"It means everything to her, there is nothing in her life that has meant more than this show," said mother Debbie Tipperreiter.
Tipperreiter and many of her friends in the show graduated in June. But they all agreed to come back on this night to give her a chance, the chance she missed when the show ran in April.
About a week before opening night, doctors discovered a tumor on her brain. They removed it immediately, and fortunately learned it was benign. But she was in the hospital when her friends were performing, so they decided then to do this repeat performance.
"Monica needed to play this role. She deserved it, and we knew - we didn't know when, we didn't know where - but we knew we were gonna do this," said Jonathan Meier, director.
They opened the doors to anyone who would come, accepting only donations benefitting the school's music program and the Lurie Children's Hospital where she was treated. They got nearly a full house.
"I'm just so grateful for all of them coming back to do this for me," said Tipperreiter.
Monica plans to attend the University of Iowa next month, where she will major in speech and language therapy.
She hopes to treat patients one day who have undergone surgeries similar to the one she just went through.