6-year-old Kathryn (or ‘KK’ to her family and friends), is a strong and no-nonsense type of girl. She loves to perform gymnastics with her sister and decorate her barbie dolls with shoes and accessories.
In October of 2021, KK was diagnosed with leukemia.
Her cancer journey started when she suddenly got a fever and looked very pale. Her mother, Brittany, took her to urgent care and shortly after, to a paediatrician who told her to take KK straight to hospital.
During the three-hour drive to hospital, Brittany prayed and dreaded what might happen to her little girl.
Shortly after they arrived at hospital, KK was diagnosed with leukemia.
The doctors explained that KK had leukemia and that she would need treatment for the next 2 and a half years… if everything went to plan.
Brittany’s mother had been treated for lung cancer three times in her life, so she had some idea of what to expect from all this, but she was shocked by the length of KK’s treatment plan.
As she said, “That seemed so far away, especially for someone so young. But we just broke it down to the eight-week cycles and handled it chunk by chunk."
Since her diagnosis, KK has endured multiple rounds of chemotherapy, several lumbar punctures, steroids that make her moody and hungry, weeks spent in hospital and hours upon hours in the car travelling to and from treatments.
But despite all that she has been through, KK remains incredibly strong and resilient.
An example of this was when KK lost her hair and her mom asked if she wanted to wear a wig or a hat before going out for the day. KK simply told her mom, “No, I think it’s kind of cute just like this, don’t you?”
And when KK’s steroids make her mood unstable, she has always been good at recognizing that it’s just an effect of her medicine. For example, when KK is having a really bad day because of her steroids and gets a bit cranky, she always apologizes and says, “The medicine makes me crabby.”
KK also understands that her cancer treatment won’t last forever and that when it’s all over, she will be able to get back to practising gymnastics and living life like a normal kid.
This summer, KK will begin the maintenance phase of her treatment, which will hopefully be easier on her little body. Her family are ready to get through the next phase of treatment the way they always have… one day at a time.
All the support from the Great Cycle Challenge has had a positive impact on KK and her family. As KK’s mom told us, “Having GCC riders pedal for KK means that they recognize, unite and are fighting to find answers for childhood cancer. It means we are not alone in this journey!”
Stay strong KK, you have inspired us to jump on our bikes this September… we’re riding for you!