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UA football: Ailing Foothills student struck by ‘compassionate’ Cats

The room at Diamond Children’s Hospital is small and dark.

It has one window and shakes when the hospital helicopter lands above it.

The brownish-orange walls frame a room that’s just barely enough room for a bed, a large chair, a couch and a couple of other accessories.

But as Kelsey Luria recently found out, it can fit a dozen UA football players in it comfortably.

“The football team showed our community that they can play football, but they showed me that they are actually really good people,” Kelsey said from her hospital bed. “They are really compassionate, and they want to be helpful.”

And Kelsey, a 17-year-old senior at Catalina Foothills High School, needs as many compassionate and helpful people in her life as possible.

Kelsey was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia on Nov. 5. The news rocked the Falcons’ student athletic trainer.

“I was just confused,” she said. “I was just like: ‘What are you talking about? I don’t have cancer. I have a football game to go to on Friday. What are you talking about? Let’s get serious.’

“You just feel weak and like you’ve lost all control.”

Kelsey has been in the hospital every day since the diagnosis, with the exception of an all-too-brief three-day stay at home. She’s nearing the end of her second of four chemotherapy cycles.

It’s a long road.


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