When Haley was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma six years ago, joining a martial arts therapy program was the furthest thing from her grandparent’s minds. Haley was a normal eight-year-old child, and they were reluctant to even bring up the dreaded “C” word, which they associated with certain death. Removing the tumor behind her eye and chemotherapy treatment left her body weak and challenged.

As Haley started her treatments she began to withdraw and stop eating. Her grandmother saw a brochure at Children’s Hospital advertising a martial arts therapy program, and since Haley had expressed an interest in karate prior to treatment, she thought it would be a good bribe for her. It worked!

In 2014, Haley decided that she did not want to be sedated for her frequent MRI’s. The procedure required her to remain motionless for seventy-five minutes with her head in a cage that slides into the massive machine. Haley used her Kids Kicking Cancer power breathing and meditation techniques to remain calm and motionless through this procedure without any anesthesia.

Haley was wheeled out of the MRI room to a cadre of nurses throwing confetti and loudly cheering. As Haley said, “I do have the power to make the pain and fear go away. Nothing is impossible. Nothing!”

Not only did she learn the breathing techniques, but she was in a class of her peers where she was not self-conscious. In the class, the children can talk amongst themselves, feel free to express their feelings and support one another.

Fast forward to today, Haley is a champion for the Kids Kicking Cancer cause and looks forward to speaking to anyone and everyone about the program. She has quite a bright future ahead of her.

Haley will be a junior in high school this fall. She recently received the Scholar Athlete Achievement Award for maintaining above a 3.5 GPA while participating in bowling and golf. She is enrolled in HOSA (Future Health Professionals) and will be taking health care career courses at the Tech Center beginning in September. She will also be attending a bowling awards banquet in July for taking first place in her category for the State of Michigan. Her team came in second place for the state championship.

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Despite the ongoing challenges of the global pandemic, we are committed to empowering one million children to reduce their pain and stress with the help of our evidence-based martial arts therapy.