Monday, December 11, 2017

Reach For The Cure

A few months ago, Kennedy’s school offered the opportunity to put together a project representing a common theme “Within Reach”.  Kennedy wrote a very short synopsis of her experience with childhood cancer titled, “Reach for the Cure”.  Out of 300 entries the PTA Reflections Northwest Council received, Kennedy’s literature piece was selected to represent the Northwest Suburban Council (CCSD15) at the next round of judging.

Her submission went up against dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts.   There were beautiful entries and she is shocked that she made it to the next level.  Possibly it was the subject of her submission that influenced the judges, not many kids experience a life altering event so young.

Kennedy loves to read and write.  She journals a few days a week and is currently working on a graphic novel which reflects pieces of her life and those around her.  What I personally love most about her Reflections submission is her innocence in addressing a serious subject.

Kennedy’s Reflections essay is below.   Wish her luck in making it to the next round!

Reach for the Cure
By:  Kennedy Khalimsky

Do you know what’s in reach?  The cure for cancer.  It’s just right there!

You know, I met a girl who had cancer, her name was Kennedy Khalimsky.  Oh yeah, that’s me.  Today, I’m telling you my story.

It all started on New Years Eve in Mexico in 2011 and I was feeling queasy.  I had stomach pains, then later I puked.  I felt so sick that I didn’t even make it to midnight.  I was 4 years old.  The next day I spent eating pretzels by the pool. 

Fast forward and we are home.  My dad pulled up with the car and we went straight to the doctor.  Nothing’s wrong with me.  A few weeks later, my mom takes me again and for the second time, there’s nothing wrong with me.  My doctor prescribed me soup and liquids for the next week.

My parents took me for the last time and my dad demanded that they took blood.  They did and that’s when they knew I had leukemia, a type of blood cancer.  They found out the cancer was low risk after the first month of treatment but still, it was the beginning to a long journey, a two and a half year journey of chemo. 

After that, I was in and out of the hospital, one time I was there for a whole month.  I also had every day chemo treatments.  I hated the shots and when they had to access my port, it was the worst.  I even wore a “no pokey” shirt.

Every night, I had to starve two hours before and one hour after my chemo pill and my mom and I would practice visualizing killing cancer cells. I was princess K and I was a white warrior killing the evil cells inside.  I’m not sure if it was the pills or my nightly mind attacks but it worked.  I reached for a cure and I found it with the help of my doctors and family.

If my body could reach a cure for cancer, I know I can achieve anything I reach for.

Artist statement:  My story relates to the theme because the cure for my cancer was in reach, just not there yet.  My cancer was low risk but still very dangerous.  The story explains how it all happened and the things I did to get through it all.

Edan Gelt

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