In September 2008, Dart resident Kady Matheny developed a serious, persistent sinus infection.
Testing revealed Kady had acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer that causes bone marrow to produce immature, abnormal white blood cells that can build up and crowd out healthy cells, according to www.mayoclinic.com. The Mayo Clinic website describes the disease as the most common type of cancer in children and says treatment results in a good chance for a cure.
Kady continues to undergo chemotherapy for the disease. Her treatment led to her being home-schooled for what would have been her freshman year at Frontier High School.
Recently, Kady was granted a wish by the Kids Wish Network, a nonprofit organization that works to provide “some much-needed comfort and joy” to children facing life-threatening illnesses, according to www.kidwishnetwork.org. She asked for a shopping spree, which would provide her with items she could keep.
The network and local sponsors arranged for a night of no-holds-barred shopping at the Grand Central Mall in Vienna, W.Va., with Kady accompanied by three friends and her mother.
Question: What was the shopping spree experience like?
Answer: It was fun but it was different because I’m not used to going to the mall and being able to get whatever I wanted and not having to look at the prices. Me and my friends, we just kind of got what we wanted and didn’t look at the price tags.
Q: Did you have a plan of which stores you wanted to hit?
A: Some of the stores just gave me gift cards and the mall just gave me a big $500 gift card so we went to all those stores I had gift cards to.
Q: What kinds of things did you get?
A: A whole bunch of clothes, like, lots and lots. We had to make four trips out to my car…. I got a couple things for my room, decorations like a lamp and some stuff to go on my car.
Q: How are you feeling these days? How’s the treatment going?
A: I feel fine most of the time. I’m hardly ever sick from it. I never really had problems with the chemo. My last treatment’s supposed to be Jan. 21 of 2011.
Q: How has the transition been coming back to Frontier after being home-schooled for a year?
A: When I was getting home-schooled, I really, really missed school, because I liked school and I missed my friends. But once I got back, I just kind of got homesick and wanted to be home all the time and sleep in again.
Q: What kind of careers are you interested in?
A: I was wanting to become a physical therapist. Because I’ve always wanted to do something in the medical field. But once I got leukemia and (saw) what some of the nurses had to do to me and what some of the doctors had to do, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to be a nurse or a doctor.
I had to have physical therapy actually for my ankles, because the chemo was messing them up. I talked to the (therapist), and she told me about her job, and it sounded like it would be a fun job.
Evan Bevins conducted the interview.