A Rancho Penasquitos teenage soccer player is fighting her fiercest match yet. Her opponent: a rare genetic cancer.
But 13-year-old Kasey Harvey plans to use exercise to win.
The competitive goalie took on her 21st round of chemotherapy at Rady Children’s Hospital Thursday, and she has ten more treatments to go.
Her daily routine begins with stringent morning workouts to help prepare her body for rounds of chemo and proton radiation therapy.
Kasey suffers from a childhood cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma, which caused a tumor under her eye.
“Learn sometimes life isn't fair. Take what life throws at you," she said.
Kasey's strength comes from her competitive nature. She used to be a goalie for the Arsenal Football Club – one of the best in her division, but cancer forced her to stop playing.
“She's missing out on life,” said her mother Susan. “We're focused on keeping her healthy, keeping her fit and getting through these treatments for a whole year, so she's giving up life really to fight for life.”
Her tough exercises combined with treatment seem to be working. Doctors say her tumor is shrinking.
“I can fight this,” Kasey said. “They have medicine that right now. It's working, and so if it keeps working and I keep working hard, then I will get my life back."
And though she knows chemo will make her sick for the next few days, the goalie told NBC 7 she won't let cancer win.
“This whole ordeal makes me stronger,” she said. “That you can never give up.”
Kasey and her family are looking forward to her last round of chemo which is planned for this August.
Her family is trying to raise funds through MedGift to help pay off her medical costs. They hope to raise $10,000.