The senior, Mckenna Keith, a swimmer at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The cancer is rare in the United States with less than 200,000 reported cases per year, and it is even rarer in people of Keith’s age. Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is cancer of the lymphatic system.

Keith previously lived in Boca Raton, FL and attended Saint Andrews School, where she also swam and played water polo. She originally attended the University of South Carolina, where she swam for two years. Keith then transferred to FSU, where she is currently enrolled and majoring in nursing. In her freshman and sophomore years at USC, she had six top ten finishes during the regular seasons. During this time, she starred in four events: 50y freestyle, 100y freestyle, 100y backstroke, and 200y freestyle. Keith was also USC’s top 50y freestyler her freshman year of college. In 2017, she was named to the Winter SEC Academic Honor Roll.

Photo Courtesy: FSU Women’s Swimming & Diving

This past fall of her senior year, she was diagnosed with cancer. She will be receiving chemotherapy treatments until December and hopes to be well enough to return to school after that. Unfortunately she probably won’t be able to compete in the 2018-2019 season. However, her teammates have said their with her every step of the way.

How We can Help

While her family is still supporting her and can pay for her medical bills, she must somehow find a way to pay for rent and utilities at FSU. Her teammates have set up a GoFundMe to raise money to find someway to help her through this difficult time.

On the GoFundMe her teammates wrote, “On top of all of the medical costs she is already facing, we do not want rent and utilities to be an extra burden for her family,” the page reads. “We want McKenna to be able to come back and be able to live in her room in our apartment without any worry about violating or cancelling the lease.” Being in a swim team can be one the best things, forming friends one will have for life and Keith’s team is no exception saying, “The Seminole family is behind her every step of the way as we anticipate her healthy return next semester.”

Keith has a long journey over the next couple of months. But with the support of her team, family and school, she has no lack of strength and motivation to draw from.

By Cathleen Rabideau