Cancer doesn’t discriminate. Cancer’s a bitch. Cancer changes lives.
This past Sunday I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with an old friend of mine, Jennifer Keddy. To say that she has an inspiring story would be an understatement. This woman has been through hell the past two months, yet continues to laugh and smile her way through treatment. Her positive attitude and insanely amazing outlook on life is incredible. It’s certainly making her beat cancer. I’m humbled to have been a small part of her journey and be able to share her experience with the world in hopes of helping others.
Let me tell you a little more about her. Jen is 26. TWENTY-SIX! We grew up together and attended middle school and high school in Missoula. She’s always been a phenomenal athlete. At 6’4’’, her presence on the volleyball court is unprecedented. She dominated in high school, killed it in college, and went on to play professional volleyball in Europe. She eats right, works out daily, drinks lots of water, takes the right supplements—you name it.
The signs were there, but not really. Jen had no idea they were “signs” until she was diagnosed. To her, and to ANY young woman, they would simply be signs of basic monthly womanhood: bloating, exhaustion, cramps. It wasn’t until her teammate over in Germany mentioned that she should probably check in with a doctor just to make sure everything was fine.
At the end of December, while playing volleyball over in Germany, Jen got the news. Walking in for what she thought would be a basic check up, turned into a very different situation. She said that the German lady doctor’s body language was clear. Without even knowing what was being said, she knew it was bad. Imagine being in a foreign country and receiving the news that you have Stage 3 ovarian cancer from a translator. That’s what she went through.
Jen’s family back in the states moved mountains. Her teammates found her a plane ticket home two days later, and her family was able to get a doctor back in Montana to schedule emergency surgery that week. After an entire day of tests, she went into surgery fearing the worst. She prayed that all of her female organs would not be suddenly taken from her at such a young age.
She woke up in tears to the find out they were able to save an ovary and her uterus. And, the tumor the size of small football was out of her body. But, she now has a lot of work ahead of her. She’s halfway through chemo. She doesn’t have health insurance back here in the states and is only on Medicaid. She doesn’t have a final answer yet. She doesn’t know whats next.
What she does have is BRAVERY, PERSEVERANCE, STRENGTH, and FAITH! These photos show just that.
Jen’s story and full interview will be featured shortly by Knowing Her. Taylor Wilde, a great videographer in town, is currently putting it together. You’ll be able to here Jen’s story in her own words. Be ready for the tissues; but more importantly, be ready to feel uplifted and inspired!
We promise to share that with you ASAP, but in the meantime if you’d like to donate to Jen personally, or if you’d like to donate to ovarian cancer research, please visit the links below. Lets all help support her and raise awareness!
Donate to Jennifer’s medical fund HERE
Donate to Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance HERE
Donate to the American Cancer Society HERE
Thanks to all the vendors involved: