When Haley was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma 5 years ago, joining a martial arts therapy program was the furthest thing from her grandparent’s minds. Haley was a normal 8-year-old child and they were reluctant to even bring up the dreaded “C” word which they associated with certain death. Removing the tumor behind her eye, and chemotherapy, left her body weak and challenged.
As Haley started her treatments she began to withdraw and stop eating. Her grandmother saw a brochure at Children’s Hospital advertising a martial arts therapy program and since Haley had expressed an interest in karate prior to treatment, she thought it would be a good bribe for her. It worked!
In 2014, Haley decided that she did not want to be sedated for her frequent MRI’s. The procedure required her to remain motionless for seventy-ﬁve minutes with her head in a cage that slides into the massive machine. Haley used her Kids Kicking Cancer breathing and meditation to remain totally calm and motionless through this procedure without any anesthesia. Haley was wheeled out of the MRI room to a cadre of nurses throwing confetti and loudly cheering. As Haley said, “I do have the power to make the pain and fear go away. Nothing is impossible. Nothing!”
Not only did she learn the breathing techniques, she was in a class of her peers where she was not self-conscious. In the class, the children can talk among themselves, feel free to express their feelings and support one another. Fast forward to today, Haley is a champion for the Kids Kicking Cancer cause and looks forward to speaking to anyone and everyone about the program. She has quite a bright future ahead of her.