Born 14AUG99, Katie Vincent grew up normal, for the most part, as most children do. Blessed with beautiful blue eyes and gorgeous red hair, and was known for her red curls and spunky attitude. She loved playing soccer and going on “coffee dates” with her Opa. She reached all of her milestones on time and was a chatterbox.
Then when Katie started fourth-grade things started changing. Calls from the school, and notes sent home from the teachers stating that Katie was in the office quite frequently. She was also asking to go to the bathroom a lot, forgetting things she had known for years. Such as, buttoning her shirt, zipping her pants, and forgetting her assignments. So Mom decided to keep a diary on all the odd things that were going on with her baby.
The diary consisted of all the abnormal things that Katie had begun doing. She tracked office visits per day, bathroom request, foods eaten and not eaten. Then they received a call stating that Katie was being disruptive and not doing her task and making other kids wait around for her. Up until now Katie had been an exemplary student.
All the uncommon occurrences led to a call to the Doctor. Met with the doctor and passed on all the info that had been collected, and the doctor blew the Vincent’s off. Stating that they were, just feeding the fire by tracking all the odd behaviors. But Mom didn’t take it as, the end all be all decision. She got in contact with a friend, who is a doctor, which referred them to another pediatrician. Finally, some test were run on Katie and test came back as ADD/ADHD/OCD, and bipolar disorder.
Then while on a vacation with a friend, Katie developed a wandering eye. When she got back from vacation on 14FEB09, mom noticed that one pupil was covering most of one of her eyes while the other was pin sized. A call to the pediatrician landed Katie in the ER. As they arrived at the ER, there was medical personal waiting for her. They whisked her back for a CT scan. An hour into the scan, the doctor came out and informed the Vincent’s that Katie had a huge mass in her brain and later an MRI revealed craniopharyngioma.
17FEB09 Katie was to have the mass removed from her brain, but halfway into the procedure they discovered the mass was a malignant tumor. The diagnosis was intracranial suprasellar germinoma. Then, they were transferred to the pediatric oncology floor. That is when it hit that this was real! After a few days in the hospital, they were sent home to allow her surgery site to heal for ten days. They returned to have a port placed and start chemotherapy. Her chemotherapy was inpatient due to the diagnosis of diabetes insipidus and the need for close monitoring of sodium levels. She went through four rounds of chemotherapy and then six weeks of daily radiation to the brain.
The cancer is gone, but it has left Katie with many residual effects. She has diabetes, learning disabilities, social difficulties, and central sleep apnea. Katie is home schooled because of her learning disabilities, and issues of getting along with others her age. But, the family is happy to be celebrating her sweet sixteen birthday in August this year.
Today 21MAY15 I ride for cancer free hero Katie Vincent. The scars of your battle have an everlasting effect, but you don’t have to let them define who you are. You have battled and won, and now you have the rest of your life to look forward too. I admire your strength, and I am honored to be able to ride in your name. May your day be blessed, and all your dreams in life come true. Godspeed Ken.