Kya is a true inspiration and an amazing fighter who has endured many, many operations and a lot of chemo and radiation therapy. Despite having lost one of her legs from this horrific disease she continues to want to be a normal kid and with sheer determination and tremendous drive attends Shrewsbury High School as a Freshman.
- On February 12, 2015 in Brooklyn, NY when she was running for the school bus for her 5th grade class, Kya fell to the ground screaming and crying in excruciating pain because all of a sudden, her femur snapped.
- Though she had been taking medicine for 3-months for fluid around her knee, the pediatrician had misdiagnosed her pain. After a number of X-rays, MRIs, CAT scans and a biopsy, the truth was she had cancer…specifically stage 4 Osteosarcoma – a type of bone cancer.
- The treatment plan required living at the hospital oncology unit for a month undergoing chemotherapy with the leg in a cast from hip to foot. In part due to the stress, her mother Samantha went into premature labor with Kya’s brother. In the same hospital Kya was getting chemo in Oncology, her brother was in the NICU and her mother was recovering from a c-section.
- Dissatisfied with the care in New York, in April they moved in with family in Shrewsbury and set up appointments at UMass Medical Center. At UMass the first surgery was to have a port placed in Kya’s chest for immediate chemotherapy treatments.
- Despite the treatments her leg was amputated just below the hip on May 2, 2015. Kya’s 11th birthday was at Spaulding Rehabilitation Center and two weeks later chemo began again. In the fall, while everyone hoped for remission as treatment was coming to an end, the sad news came when more scans revealed the cancer had returned in both lungs.
- On December 19th the surgeons removed 17 cancerous lesions from the left lung. Kya was able to leave the hospital on Christmas Eve with a plan to return to chemo in January 2016.
- They gave 8 weeks for recovery from the left lung surgery and on February 22nd in her next surgery 22 cancerous lesions were removed from the right lung and chemo began again the next week.
- Kya continued receiving all different chemotherapy protocols at weekly clinical appointments, sometimes having to stop certain drugs because they weren’t working or the negative side effects were too invasive, all the while continuing to attend school.
- In January 2018, Kya had emergency scans because of pain and headaches. They found a tumor in her brain. She immediately had emergency surgery to remove the tumor.
- During the surgery Kya ended up suffering a stroke and was in a coma in the ICU for over a week. She also suffered a collapsed lung.
- As a result of the stroke, she suffered left side paralysis, had to have a tracheotomy placed for breathing, and a Gastrostomy Tube (G-Tube) to deliver nutrition.
- Once she was strong enough, Kya restarted chemotherapy. In April she started radiation.
- Kya continued with different chemotherapy regimens while working with physical therapy and has worked really hard to regain some strength in her left side.
- Kya started high school in September 2018. She still has the trach and is still unable to eat normally.
- Most recently in early 2019 Kya’s scans showed new tumors. As a result she has started a new chemotherapy regimen and will start radiation treatment once again
Oh, one last thing – despite all this Kya will be on the bike for the first few spins to start her team efforts. For Kya and all the children and families of Why Me please help me make this event successful by supporting our cause and her efforts with a donation.
Donating through the website at www.whyme.org/get-involved/donate/ is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support my fundraising efforts. Many thanks for your support — and don’t forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too!
Why Me Founder and Chairman