ON THIS EPISODE
Sports have a serious impact on young lives. It teaches discipline, respect, passion, motivation, pain, loss, happiness, bravery and the meaning of being a teammate.
It was at a particular Sunday soccer game, Lacey playing goal keeper as usual, when she and her mother Joy had to dig deep and combine all of those character traits into one.
During this particular game, Lacey made a save and also got greeted by knee deep into her rib cage. As any competitive athlete, she didn’t stop. She continued the play and even demanded to stay on the field. The ultimate team player.
After the game, her and her mother went to urgent care where she received x-rays and found out Lacey had a mass the size of softball on her liver. Panic and anxiety crept in quickly but the two remained brave as can be. Once Lacey was released from the hospital it was time to become a med student overnight.
They learned a foreign language, terms like clear margins, chemotherapy, Fibrolamellar helatocellular carcinoma. These words were now in her everyday vocabulary as a 15 year old.
As a parent, Joy went into survival mode, which she refers too as “goalie mode.”
Her medical team acted aggressively, they wanted nothing more than a big victory. The chemotherapy was so intense that the side effects were not allowing her to continue to be a teenager. But she valued her feelings and knew she could get through this.
Through her journey she has recognized struggle and took action, all while being attached to monitors, tubes and wires. She had the motivation to help and inspire others by creating a new charitable cause called LaceyGrace.org. It is her mission to support other kids battling cancer, especially teens and pre teens, so they can see a familiar face of similar age and get the things they really need to be more comfortable and understood during their cancer journeys.
Lacey is proud of her journey. She is proud to show people her scar across her stomach because, as she says “It’s a part of me.” People have praised her on being wise beyond her years, which we found out to be incredibly true.
Try listening without shedding tears of empathy and joy.
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