Kadie's proposal

Former patient Kadie had her life transformed by cancer. Little did she know that her future would be changed with a proposal at the place that saved her life.

Video featuring patient Kadie getting engaged at St. Jude

Kadie was only 4 years old when she began experiencing severe eye pain caused by a massive brain tumor.

“It was the size of a grapefruit, and it was pushing on her eye,” said her mom, Jill.

Diagnosed with stage 4 anaplastic ependymoma, a rare form of cancer, Kadie quickly underwent surgery to remove the tumor, but her prognosis remained grim.

The news left Jill devastated until a close friend searched online and found a doctor at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital who specialized in the type of tumor Kadie had.

 
 

Within days, the Kentucky family found themselves in Memphis, Tenn., to enroll Kadie in a research trial at St. Jude. She began receiving conformal radiation, a therapy that targeted her tumor while avoiding the healthy surrounding tissue.

Kadie received one treatment a day for about six and a half weeks. She then returned to St. Jude several times a year for follow-up visits. Before long, she started to return to the activities she loved — including horseback riding, shopping and hanging out with her friends.

These days, those friends often help Kadie give back to St. Jude by collecting toys and raising donations for the hospital’s young patients.

“They ended up raising almost $10,000 for St. Jude and a big, white trailer full of brand new toys for the St. Jude kids,” her mother said.

 
 

St. Jude patient Kadie and her mom, Jill.

St. Jude also played a huge role in a recent milestone for Kadie in October 2017, when her boyfriend took her for a carriage ride. The trip concluded on the grounds of St. Jude, where Kadie's boyfriend proposed to her on bended knee — with some help from her family.

She's very special, very grateful of everything. I think that St. Jude probably had a big help in making her who she is today.
John David, Kadie's fiancé

These days, Kadie's future is bright. She is studying to be an ultrasound technician and planning for a wedding in October 2018, something her mother once couldn't imagine Kadie would live to see.

She’s a tough, tough, tough girl. And she will push through anything. She's been cancer free for 15 years, and that's the biggest blessing that we could ever ask for.
Jill, Kadie's mother

 

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