2015 - Katie Lundy
How has the nominee coped with adversity in their cancer journey?
She had to learn at a very young age what it is like to be sick and diagnosed with a brain tumor. Her life turned upside down at age 11 and she really couldn't be a kid anymore. She was not allowed to play any contact sports and she loved playing sports, she had never been in a hospital, she had a port-a-cath put in and had to be cautious of it and she just hated needles. She became a fighter and adjusted to being sick, needles, chemotherapy treatments, doctor appointments, surgeries, in and out of the hospital and neuropathy in her legs.
She had to grow up faster than most 11 years olds have to. She has become a fighter and a very strong person over the last 15 years.
In what ways does the nominee bring the mantra of "get busy living" into their day-to-day life?She continued to fight the fight and was determined to graduate from college on time, while working two part time jobs and being on chemotherapy the whole time. The month after graduation from college she started her new career as a job recruiter at Experis Company in St. Louis. She moved to Missouri in her own apartment and loves her new grown up life. She works every day and continues
to get promotions at her job and has met many new friends along the way. She is on her 15 different chemotherapy right now and travels to Chicago every month for two days to participate in a Clinical Chemotherapy Trial that she is enrolled in for the next year.
What is unique about the way the nominee gets busy living?
When she was in ICU a couple of days after brain surgery, she said to her dad that she wanted to help all these sick kids that were in the hospital. So, that summer we planned the 1st Annual Golf Tournament in the nominee’s name and she donated all the profit to St. Louis Children’s Hospital. She got to pick out some of the new things for the children to play with on the Oncology Clinic. She has continued to give back to the community by continuing to have her annual golf tournaments and donate over $100,000 to several organizations, Children's Miracle Network, Juvenile Diabetes, Jump rope for heart, Ella Pritchet Fund and to other sick children that she has come in contact with. She is a very loving person with a huge heart that always wants to giving back and help others.
How has the nominee impacted you directly?
When she was diagnosed I was in shock and our life literally turned upside down over night. It was very devastating news at such a young age and I thought how is she going to cope with being in the hospital, having brain surgery, port-a-cath surgery, chemotherapy treatments, missing school, loosing her hair, needles, IV's and not playing any more contact sports. She was so strong and adjusted to what was going on in her life and continued to be a straight A student. It was amazing how she accepted her new life and how God made her so strong, she is our rock. When people would ask her how do you do it, she would say I'm fine because she didn't want to upset her parents. She is the most amazing and strong person that I have ever met in my life!
If you had to pick three words to describe the nominee, what would they be?
If I had to describe her in three words I would say she is Strong, a Fighter and Amazing.
She is Strong, a Fighter and a Amazing person because she was conquered being diagnosed at the age of 11 with a brain tumor and is still dealing with it today. She was in and out of the hospital many times, she had to deal with being nauseous, tired, loosing her hair, getting sick, neuropathy in her legs and hands, 31 radiation treatments, shingles 3 times through 5th and 6th grade, all of junior high school, all of high school and all of college. She graduated on time from grade school, high school and college while being on treatment. She made up every assignment she missed and didn't want to postpone college finals because she had been in the hospital the week before. I pushed her in a wheel chair to every class on campus, because she couldn't walk with her neuropathy in her legs. She was determined to take her finals on time and finish the semester even though she was on pain medicine and exhausted from being sick.