Kick it with Karsyn


September 17, 2014
Topics: Riley Kid Story, Cancer (oncology)



Bill Burchett
Karsyn staying positive during treatment.

A Dramatic Journey Begins

Karsyn was like any other 4-year-old little girl who loved playing with her dolls and dressing up as her favorite Disney princesses. She also found that just like us, she liked to keep up with auto racing. My wife and I are big fans of Jeff Gordon, and Karsyn followed suit.

Full of energy and laughter, she would zip through the house like nothing was going to stop her. A change came to Karsyn when we moved into a new home. Shortly after we moved in, her mother and I noticed she was running into the furniture and doorways within our home. After several trips to her eye doctor, we were referred to an optometrist, Dr. Gavin Roberts.

He examined Karsyn’s eyes and realized something was wrong.

Karsyn was sent to Riley Hospital for an MRI. We learned on that day that Karsyn’s life as well as ours would change dramatically. Karsyn was diagnosed with an optic glioma – a tumor that affects the eyes. The oncology team at Riley, with Dr. Kamnesh Pradhan and Dr. Allan Thornton leading the way, started Karsyn on her chemo and proton beam radiation.

They treated her with such care, just as if she were their own child.

Staying Positive 

Karsyn has endured many surgeries and treatments, and through it all she has always maintained a very outgoing and upbeat personality. We know Karsyn’s care and treatment is coming from the best children’s hospital there is. Since undergoing treatment for her optic glioma, she has also been diagnosed with astro cytoma that is in her brain and spine.

Her optic glioma has taken her sight, but she doesn’t let it slow her down.

Kick it with Karsyn

Karsyn gets some special attention from Jeff Gordon at the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation's annual bowling tournament

This Saturday, September 20, our family is participating in a family-friendly kickball tournament for pediatric cancer research funding in honor of Karsyn. “Kick it with Karsyn” is sponsored by the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation benefiting the Children’s Oncology Group and the Jeff Gordon Pediatric Cancer Research Fund at Riley Hospital. We hope many others in the greater Wabash community will join us in this fight against childhood cancer.

We are grateful for partners like Jeff Gordon, and for Riley Hospital for Children, which continues to show us that they will never give up on Karsyn. They want to give her the life she so wants to have. Without Riley Hospital, Karsyn would not be the inspiring, “full of love and laughter” 11-year-old girl that she is today.

As Karsyn would say, “We love Riley to the moon and back.”


Riley Blogger

The Riley Blog is written and/or edited by members of the Riley Children's Foundation Communications Staff.


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