After 2 battles with cancer, Toledo teen keeps passion for socce - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

After 2 battles with cancer, Toledo teen keeps passion for soccer

Kirsten Price Kirsten Price
TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

On the soccer field, Kirsten Price feels untouchable. It's a place all her worries fade away.

It's almost unbelievable, all she's overcome. It was in August of 2002 that Kirsten's family noticed a twitching in her eye. With her mom at work, Kirsten's dad took her to the emergency room.

"When he called me, he basically said, ‘I need you to leave work. I need you to come to the hospital. Kirsten has a mass on her brain,'" Kirsten's mother Debbie recalled.

The doctors found a seven-centimeter tumor directly on the center of the then 3-year-old's brain. Three days later on August 5, the doctors removed 97 percent of the tumor.

"You automatically say, ‘What can I do?'" Greg Price said. "I'm charged to be the dad. I'm the father of my girls. I have to fix it, but how can I fix it? At that point, I looked at it and said, ‘No, my faith has to take over. It's God.'"

Pathology reports came back showing Kirsten had a malignant tumor. She had cancer that would require chemotherapy and bone marrow rescue. Kirsten spent months relearning how to walk, and walking eventually led to the soccer field.

Amazingly, her story didn't end there. In March of 2011, Kirsten developed a growth in her mouth. A scan revealed the worst: a second primary cancer.

 "It rips your heart out," said Debbie Price. "You wish. You pray. You talk to God, you negotiate with God. Tell him, ‘Can you do this to me? Let her be healthy, let this happen to me. Let her be a kid.'"

The doctors diagnosed Kirsten with synovial sarcoma. She would have to go to Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, where a skull team was available for the surgery she needed.

She made it through the operation successfully, but for the second time in her short life, Kirsten was battling cancer. And she was winning.

After her return from New York, Kirsten continued to go through physical rehabilitation, but the results were discouraging. She wanted to return to the soccer field.

 "When I step on the soccer field, I just forget everything," she said. "It takes all my worries away. It's a lot of fun."

Last November, Kirsten's parents contacted Dan Jones from EAO Sports. Jones then contacted trainer and breast cancer survivor Lori Miller.

"It was a challenge I knew I was up to, because it was something I was so familiar with," Miller said. "Sports and being an athlete are what got me through my cancer."

Now, Kirsten is about to become a sophomore at St. Ursula Academy in Toledo, and she's doing things she never could have imagined. Training with Miller has paid off and she's made her return to the soccer field.

 "There comes a time when I thought I'd never get to watch her do anything. To watch her on the field now, to see her at tryouts working hard to reach a goal, I just look at her and say I wish I could be half the person she is," said Greg Price.

"The cancer made me who I am today and I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for the cancer and overcoming everything," Kirsten said.

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