I met Kacey when she was in rehab in Albany Medical Center. She had been in the hospital for months, and because of the intense chemotherapy she needed to be healed, she lost the use of her legs.
I did mention that Kacey is a dancer, right? Cancer never lets an opportunity go by to steal away a person’s identity. It has a tendency to take away what that person loves the most. It strips you down to your bare soul, and hopes that you never get back up. If cancer was a criminal, it would be serving endless life sentences for what it has done to our children.
Kacey’s idea of who she was, what she wanted to be, how she would play out her senior year was all changed when she was diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly this wonderful, young woman had to not only learn to walk again, but before she could do that, she had to be able to sit up and stand. It took months and months of hard work and determination. Being a dancer, Kacey is used to hard work and grueling hours, but this type of training tested every belief and bit of confidence she had in herself.
The hardest part about her journey was that she wasn’t home. When Nick’s Fight found out that Kacey couldn’t go home until she had a wheelchair ramp, we went into motion. We rented one with the support of The Catie Hoch Foundation and Maddie’s Mark Foundation. The ramp was ready, but Kacey still wasn’t healthy enough, but she kept working on being able to stand.
When we realized that she would need the ramp for a longer period of time, we purchased the material and her family and friends built the ramp. Finally Kacey was home. What a beautiful sight!
Kacey sets her sights on goals, and she doesn’t let anything get in her way. I have learned that this is who she is. She wanted to walk across the stage at her graduation. Guess what, she did.
She didn’t have to redefine who she was. Kacey already knows that she is a determined, hard-working, and generous person. Kacey just found other ways to express who she is. Now Kacey is driving, walking, and volunteers for Nick’s Round Table. She has shown us that giving up just isn’t an option. If you want something bad enough, have a great support system, and stay positive, you can do anything.