Our hero of the day is Kacey. Kacey was born in 2008 and was a joy to be around. She led a normal life and did what most kids do, play. But one day Kacey was playing at the water park and she got injured. Little did any of the family know, just how bad things were.
It was early April 2014 when then, five-year-old Kacey, fell and injured her knee. She was at a water park in Florida. The fall caused Kacey to chip one of the bones in her knee. The parents did not think much about it other than they had to leave early, and Kacey needed to relax so that her knee would heal. Several days went by, and Kacey’s knee was not healing.
Off to the ER they went; to go see what was wrong with Kacey’s knee. The doctors did an x-ray and Kacey’s knee bone had been chipped. They followed up with the orthopedic doctor a week later and he did another x-ray and thats when a tumor roared it’s ugly head. A tumor on her knee, which caused her bone to weaken, which caused the fracture. Kacey was sent straight to Children’s Hospital, where she was admitted for scans, MRI, and a biopsy. The further testing revealed that Kacey had bone cancer, Osteosarcoma. How could the parents beach baby, their five-year-old have cancer?
Life changed dramatically for Kacey and her family after the diagnosis of Osteosarcoma. While most kids were finishing school for the summer and heading off to the beach to play with their friends, Kacey and mom moved into the hospital for the summer. Kacey spent the next three months fighting for her life. She endured three months of chemo and all the nasty side effects it brings along the way.
As school started back up in late August, Kacey was still battling. All her friends were going into first grade, learning to ride bikes, and doing what typical first graders do. But not Kacey, she was about to have a life-changing surgery to help with the fight against Osteosarcoma. The surgeries that children with Osteosarcoma face are: limb salvage or amputation. Depending on how deep the tumor has worked its way in is the deciding factor. Well, Kacey had a little of both of the types of surgery.
The operation was named rotationplasty. This surgery is the act of taking the affected limb, cutting it from the body and then rotating it and reattaching. So Kacey’s knee and tumor were removed, her leg was then flipped upside down and turned around. Kacey’s old ankle was now her new knee. The doctors fitted her for a prosthesis to take the place of the old ankle and foot. The surgery was a success and Kacey has recently been cleared to put weight on the new-fashioned leg.
After the surgery, Kacey endured five more months of chemo. Five more months of whipping cancer’s ass. She was successful, and in January 2015 she finished chemo and test showed no evidence of disease. She looked death in the face and said “it’s not time, I got more to prove.”
Kacey did it, but it’s not over for her. Believe it or not, now the real challenges begin. Her family is still trying to recover from the traumatic year and survive the fear and anxiety that any bumps, bruises or sniffles will send them back into that nightmare. Her mother says, “Kacey will never quit, and she will succeed.”
Currently, Kacey is playing catch up. Trying to get back the time that was lost while she went to war with cancer. She missed to much of first grade to catch up with her class, but she’s not worried. She knows that she will have no problems meeting new friends. She is strong, scrappy, silly, successful and has a very strong faith in God and with God all things are possible. This six-year-old is a hero.
So today, 23JUN15, I will ride for Kacey. A truly inspiring hero that has fought the good fight and looked death scare in the face and told it to scram. I am honored to ride for someone with such courage and fight. Kacey, I hope that you continue to keep that fire burning inside. If so you will go far in life. May your day be blessed as I know mine will because I get to honor a real hero. Godspeed Ken.
If you would like your hero or angel honored during one of Ken’s daily rides, send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and share their story so that Ken can honor your hero/ angel.