Lindsey was first diagnosed with a brain tumor 11 years ago at the age of 13. She went through surgery and treatment. It saved her life but left her with some physical and learning disabilities. That did not keep Lindsey down. She has been an amazing inspiration as she continued to pursue the goals in her life. Achieving those goals took more determination and effort than for a lot of us, but she kept on going.
She graduated from high school and was accepted into college. She held jobs at Hy-Vee and at Camp Summit in Lee’s Summit. She was always friendly and outgoing, and her customers at the store loved her and chose to shop when they knew Lindsey would be there to take care of them. She had compassion and loved the students she worked with at camp and was greatly loved and appreciated by the campers and their parents for the care she took with their children.
Eleven years after Lindsey was first diagnosed with a brain tumor, she was living her life to the fullest. She was in her final semester of college with only student teaching left before she would be able to receive the education degree that she had been working so hard for. She was substitute teaching in Lee’s Summit and understood what it was like for the kids to be trying to grasp new concepts because she too had faced personal struggles in the classroom. She met a great guy, and he proposed. They made plans to be married after she graduated. All seemed to be on track for “happily ever after.” And with as hard as Lindsey had worked to achieve all of that, it was wonderful to see. She deserved it.
Then came January 2010, and Lindsey started having some problems with her sight. We prayed that all she needed was a pair of glasses, but that was not to be. We were all devastated to learn that Lindsey again was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Surgery was not an option. Radiation wasn’t an option. Clinical trials were not an option. Chemotherapy was tried, but the side effects were so debilitating that it had to be discontinued. But through all of this Lindsey kept going. She prayed for a miracle — as we all did. And she kept on pursuing her dreams. Lindsey and Greg — the love of her life — moved up their wedding date and were married in April 2010. A beautiful bride Lindsey was for sure. She may not have had that student teaching done to get an education degree, but she had certainly earned enough credits to be awarded her college degree, and in May she was able to walk across that stage at UCM and receive the diploma that she had worked so hard to earn.
The inspiration that Lindsey has been to so many was evident when Hy-Vee held a fundraiser in her honor and about 600 people attended. And now, as the Lace-up for Lindsey team prepares for the Head for the Cure 5k, more than 150 are registered to walk in support of Lindsey and help to raise awareness for this dreaded disease.
Lindsey’s health is failing and she may not beat the tumor this time around, but she is leaving an incredible legacy for all of us to learn from. She has faced huge obstacles and kept on going when many of us would have given up. She is an inspiration. When life gets tough, knowing what Lindsey has accomplished in the face of great adversity and the example she has been is so inspiriting.
She has “Kept the Faith” for 13 years and certainly deserves the Keeping the Faith award.
Lindsey lost her battle with brain cancer November 28, 2010