Minnetonka High School Student Overcomes Cancer

Julia Ruelle, a junior at Minnetonka High School, had to endure a more difficult sophomore year than she expected. Last December, Julia was diagnosed with a tumor in the pineal region of her brain. While battling cancer, she found relief in the outdoors. “I love being outside. For me, getting some activity when I was feeling down was really needed,” Julia says. She made an effort to go outside at least once a day during her treatment. And best of all?  She got the news she was cancer free on April 19.

“It had become my identity for so long. For six months I was the girl with cancer, and I didn’t know what to do,” Julia says. To celebrate, she was able to head to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) Wilderness this summer on a canoe trip, which she won via a contest sponsored by an Ely-based outfitter. High school students were asked to answer the question, “Why do you want to go on a parent-free BWCA Wilderness canoe-camping adventure with your friends?” Julia, who canoed in the BWCA with her family as a child, won the essay contest by leaps and bounds. “I brought three friends that I’ve known for most of my life,” she says. The trip was “a chance to relax and unplug.”