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HomeWorld NewsOvarian cancer won't stop this 14-year-old athlete

Ovarian cancer won’t stop this 14-year-old athlete


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ARMA, Kan. — The life of an athletic 14-year-old girl: school, track practice, gymnastics meets. Cancer wasn’t on Kylee Yarnell’s radar until her ovary ruptured while she was practicing on the bars one evening.

“It’s not usual for her to hurt,” said her mom, Teresa Yarnell, after the gymnastics coach called her and said Kylee was in pain. 

When she was recommended for six rounds of chemotherapy in Kansas City, Kylee asked her mom: “When can I start? I want to get it over with before softball.”

Undeterred,  she continued to keep up with sports and school. She went to track meets and practices. A gymnast since age 5, she even received special permission to wear a hat to compete.

“There were times she was disappointed in herself because she wasn’t doing as good as she knew she could be,” Teresa Yarnell says. “I was like, ‘You’re going through chemo!’” She had to remind her daughter that her performance had more to do with the cancer than what she was doing wrong. 

BBCXqRf © Provided by USA Today Despite setbacks, Kylee pressed on, motivating her peers as well. The younger girls in her gym looked up to her, knowing that if Kylee was keeping up, they could too. Her eighth-grade class designed T-shirts that said “Kylee Strong.”

“The whole community really pulled through for us. You don’t think about a 14-year-old girl touching other people’s lives like that.”

Kylee finished chemo and eighth grade as valedictorian of her class, cancer-free. Because of her busier high school schedule, she has retired from gymnastics but will return to coach during the winter. She’s back to normal teen girl activities, too: a full schedule of driver’s ed, volleyball and softball.

Slideshow: 10 Ovarian Cancer Symptoms You’re Likely to Miss (Provided by The Active Times)

10 Ovarian Cancer Symptoms You're Likely to Miss: <p>Ovarian cancer is the second <strong><a href="">most common type of gynecologic cancer</a></strong> in the U.S. It affects one to two of every 100 women, <a href=""><strong>according</strong></a> to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. If a woman is diagnosed with ovarian cancer at Stage 1, she tends to do better and her chances of survival can certainly improve, Sarah DeFeo, Vice President, Scientific Affairs &amp; Programs at the <a href=""><strong>Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance</strong></a> (OCRFA), says. However, patients <strong><a href="">don’t tend to be diagnosed in early stages</a></strong> because the symptoms are vague and can be caused by many other medical conditions, she adds.</p> 10 Ovarian Cancer Symptoms You’re Likely to Miss

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