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Go Katelyn, Beat Cancer!

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We are raising money for Katelyn Dill! A senior student at Cordova High School battling stage 3 Ovarian Cancer. We need to come together as a community and show Katelyn and her family that we are behind her 100% of the way.
From the Daily Mountain Eagle
Words from Susan Winsett Walton

Katelyn Dill never expected her tough trek during band practice to lead to a life-altering discovery.

Dill, a 17-year-old senior at Cordova High School, is familiar with the difficult climb out of the “pit” at Hudson-Kerby Football Stadium. She has trekked that long hill many times during her six years as a flute player in the band. However, one hot day in August left her feeling something just wasn’t right.

“I know that hill always takes my breath when we have to climb it after band practice on the field,” she explained. “But back in August, the climb affected me worse than it ever had. Even after 30 minutes of sitting on the cold band room floor resting, I still couldn’t catch my breath.”

Katelyn remembered her chest hurting and her heart racing. “It felt like I had just run a mile and it wouldn’t stop, so mom took me to the doctor,” she said. That is when multiple procedures to check Katelyn’s heart began.

“I had kidney stones when I was about 15,” she said. “Then eight months ago I had a CT scan to find another kidney stone. At that time everything else seemed fine. I just thought I was having heart issues. I even had to wear a heart monitor for a while.”

Again in August, after her heart scare ended, Katelyn woke in the night to excruciating abdominal pain. “My mom rushed me to the ER and they did some scans that found a huge mass on my ovary,” she said. “It was a 14cmx10cmx8cm twisted cyst. The weird part was that the CT scan never showed any sign of a cyst.”

Katelyn has dealt with cysts for almost seven years. “I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome when I was about 11, but they have never been painful until recently in August,” she said. “After surgery, the mass was sent to pathology and I learned I have stage 3 ovarian cancer.”

Once CHS principal Alisa Brown discovered Katelyn’s news, she quickly jumped into action.

On Thursday, Katelyn’s last day at school before treatments begin, the Blue Devil band marched through the school halls leading classes of students to the front foyer and out into the parking lot.

“We want to show Katelyn how much Cordova loves and supports her,” Brown told the large crowd as the cheerleaders lined the drive and the band assembled behind. “We are giving Katelyn a pep rally send off until she returns next semester.”

CHS band director Sarah Lipscomb, who led the troupe through the halls, said, “Katelyn was in my first group that I started at Valley, so she was a 7th grader when she started. She is a really positive kid, who always shows up with a positive attitude ready to go, and she has been essential to our success over the years.”

“My mom said she is really scared to lose me,” Katelyn said. “But I am staying positive. I had a dream that my granny visited me and told me I would be fine.” Katelyn said she gets a little emotional at times, but seeing so many at her school, even those who don’t really know her, wearing teal in her honor helps her keep going and gives her comfort.

Flanked on her left and right by dear friends, Katelyn swayed as the band played and the chants, “B-E-A-T, beat cancer!” and “Go Katelyn, beat cancer!” filled the school parking lot. The sea of students clad in teal cheered as Katelyn walked through the sea of faces and left school.

“I am determined to stay positive through this fight,” Katelyn said. “I am still planning to graduate in May and no matter what I am walking across that stage with my friends.”

Organizer and beneficiary

Savanna Woods
Cordova, AL
Mimi Dill

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