"My name is Kaity, and I survived cancer. I have been sick for longer than I can remember. I got my cancer when I was 7 years old. It was from the anti-rejection medication I was taking, so my body wouldn’t reject my new transplanted kidney (I was already very sick before I got cancer). The cancer was called Burkitt’s Lymphoma and it doubled in size every 22 hours.
It started with severe stomach pains, leaving me in the hospital for 9 months. I lost all of my hair (including my eyebrows and eyelashes) from the chemotherapy treatment and had to spend my 8th birthday in the hospital. It was a scary time with a lot of IVs and blood draws. I look back now and realize I didn’t really have a childhood"
This is just a glimpse into the life of a child battling cancer. A life of growing up too fast, dreading the next needle poke, and feeling completely alone.
Shining Stars was soon introduced to Kaity and brought her to the Aspen Winter Games program. She spent an entire week skiing and making friends, instead of thinking about cancer and painful treatments.
Kaity found acceptance among a group of peers who had also experienced the trauma of battling cancer. She was reminded that cancer will not limit her. She discovered the joy of simply being a kid.
Now Kaity tells us, "I will never give up HOPE."
After the Aspen Winter Games, Kaity was invited to over 70 other programs and events that she participated in with her whole family. Kaity is now in remission, but still attends programs, often mentoring younger cancer patients.