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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Wrestling with What Ifs

A couple of days ago I heard the news that yet another child was lost to cancer in our community. Kate was only four years old. The worst part of her journey seemed to be over. She had celebrated her last treatment for leukemia with a "No Mo Chemo" party in September. She was getting back to the life of a regular preschooler - friends, school, playdates.

Then suddenly, Kate relapsed rapidly and irreversibly. Her little body could not withstand the onset of leukemia this time. Her doctors did everything they could do. She died Tuesday morning.

Kate was one of Kyle's Kamp's Patient Ambassadors. Each team participating in our Memorial Day Baseball tournament and/or High School Diamond Dreams fundraising games has the honor of hosting a local area pediatric cancer patient. At our Memorial Day tournament, only eight months ago, Kate was the ambassador for a very special team, the 10U Loudoun South Eagles. The Eagles players included a number of great kids who have at various times been teammates of my son, Drew, over the past 3 or 4 years. The Eagles coach, Travis, is a friend and member of my church. These boys treated Kate like a queen, inviting her to their games and practices, showering her with gifts, donning her name on their batting helmets and even making her a special video. They dedicated their tournament to her, chanted her name in their huddles and wore special "Kate's Krew" t-shirts.

When I heard the news of Kate's passing my first concern was of course for her parents and close friends. Quickly, though, I remembered my friend, Travis, and his team of 10 year old boys. My heart sank. I felt guilt and horror at the shocking news each of these boys would be facing when they returned home from school Tuesday afternoon.

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