Katie Price, a 14-year-old Clay County High School freshman, TSA member, and volleyball player was enjoying her summer break when a swimming accident changed her whole life. On Memorial Day she suffered a break in her femur. Upon arriving at the hospital, Katie underwent x-rays and MRIs, which determined she would need to undergo surgery to repair the injury. With that came the news that Katie has bone cancer. Words that can shake you, fill you with worry, and make you fear the unknown. Katie’s family was in the least, terrified.
“As a mother my world stopped. I took time off from my job as a nurse to be a nurse to my most important patient. I have never cried so much in my life as I have since May. The emotional roller coaster is unbearable at times but this fabulous community and all the support they have shown our family has gotten me through the worst days of our lives, I only pray that I can one day pay it forward,” said Katie’s mom, Mandy Price.
Sometimes, real superheroes live in the hearts of small children fighting big battles, words could not be truer when reflecting back on Katie’s journey. Mandy has stated that Katie is her hero.
“Each day I see new determination in her eyes. She has faced each set back (the second break in the hospital, the allergy to several needed medications, starting over three times with her mobility independence, with a great attitude. She doesn’t know it, but she gives me strength every day. She the strong one, I see her giving everything day after day and that keeps me going.”
The road to recovery has been one of many chemo treatments, doctor’s visits, and a recent knee replacement, all at 14 years old. After this most recent surgery, doctors are hopeful that the removal of the tumor has been a success. Katie will undergo rehab and physical therapy to gain full range of motion and strengthen the weak femur from lack of use.
Mandy has kept a journal to reflect on the daily struggles, joys, and setbacks on this journey for Katie to later look back at and reflect on. Mandy wants Katie to be able to look back on this and see how far God brought her and even though there were plenty bad days, there were also good ones. The bad days are easier to remember, but it is important for her to be able to look at the entries on the days that were fulfilling. After the first surgery, Katie’s family took her on a fishing trip where she said it was the best trip ever, it is important for her to see the good days among so many of the bad.
Clay County High School staff, students, coaches, and Principal Allen Tanner showcased the school’s support with a Tik Tok video with words of encouragement, uplifting Katie in her journey and rallying behind her in her fight. Teachers, family, friends, teammates have all continued to show support, wearing #TeamKatie shirts, to sporting and school events. The school and community has taken the #TeamKatie train and carried this family through this difficult time, and they will forever be thankful for the rally behind Katie and making this their fight as well, letting her know she is defiantly not alone in this time of need.
All the thank you’s in the world wouldn’t be enough to show how much the support means to the family. Every arrival home after a hospital stay, surgery, treatment there are packages, cards, snacks, food, anything that can brighten someone’s day here from the community.
Katie says, “I want to thank so many people, but I am afraid to leave someone out.” She thanked her classmates, who have all stood behind her, and she thanks all the local churches who have prayed during this time. A big thank you to Katie’s sister, Emily. Not only has Emily stepped up and been her family’s right hand during all this. She has taken on a lot of the household responsibilities to make things easier all while attending college and remaining strong for her sister. Katie’s shared her Make A Wish with her sister, getting them both new electronics. The family is grateful for the bond the two share and for sticking by each other, relying on each other for comfort.