Girl, 11, who battled cancer starring in 'A Christmas Carol' at Goodman Theatre

CHICAGO (WLS) -- An 11-year-old girl who was diagnosed with cancer days after her birth is now starring as Tiny Tim in the "A Christmas Carol" production at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.

Paris Strickland, who was diagnosed with stage 3 neuroblastoma when she was just 9 days old, is playing Tiny Tim in the Charles Dickens' Christmas classic.

The tumor was wrapped around her spinal cord.

On Saturday, 10 years later, two doctors responsible for performing the surgeries that would save her life were in the audience watching, surprising her as she came out of the theater.

"This is the best part of what we do. To see children grow and thrive and become anything they want to become and to live the ultimate dream," said Dr. Marleta Reynolds, chief of pediatric surgery at Lurie Children's Hospital.

"My son was asking me if she was the one whose head I fixed. So I whispered yes," said Dr. Tord Alden, a neurosurgeon at Lurie Children's Hospital.

These days, Paris is thriving. A permanent limp is the only remaining remnant of her illness. Now a fifth grader, she balances her life at Yorkville Intermediate School with acting, performing only on the weekends.

Meeting her doctors was something neither she, nor her mother, will soon forget.

"If they didn't do what they did. Or we didn't go to them at that time then I probably wouldn't be here right now," Paris said.

"To see them. And to see where she's at because of their actions it's truly a miracle," said mom Lauren Strickland.

Now that school is out, Paris will be performing in all of the remaining shows.

"A Christmas Carol" closes for the season on Dec. 30 at the Goodman Theatre.
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