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Keeping the Faith




Submitted by:
Kim Biddle

Kenna Biddle was an active athletic kid when she started having dizzy spells in 2013. A couple weeks prior to starting 7th grade, she was diagnosed with a Pilocytic Astrocytoma in her brain stem. Due to the dangerous location of her tumor, the family found themselves 600 miles from home seeking treatment at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, TX. Surgeons removed most of the tumor; however, she was left with permanent vocal cord paralysis, nystagmus (shaking of the eyes) and balance issues. Kenna spent the first two months of 7th grade in hospitals or rehabilitation facilities. Due to her vision and coordination issues, Kenna had to stop playing most sports. Golf was something that she could safely participate in, so she tried it in 7th grade. It turned out that she was a natural and the golf course was her happy place. Kenna ended up qualifying for State all four years of high school (medaling 2 years), she was part of the 2015 4A Kansas State Championship team and she won regionals her sophomore year. Golf gave her joy during some of the lowest times of her life. In 2017, Kenna had a medical set-back. The tumor began growing and causing symptoms, so she headed back to Houston for two months of proton therapy radiation. She missed the last two months of her sophomore year and was very sick with side affects most of her junior year. Despite all the missed school, Kenna graduated in May 2019 with a 4.0 high school GPA plus she has completed over 40 hours of college. Kenna is a 6-year survivor and has refused to let brain cancer keep her from being successful. Her favorite quote is by Bob Marley, “You never know how strong you are until strong is the only choice you have”. In August, Kenna plans to attend Wichita State University to obtain a degree in Mechanical Engineering.