Coe’s Kacey Baker doesn’t let thyroid cancer steal her senior season
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Saturday marked the final game for Coe goalkeeper Kacey Baker. It was a day filled with a lot of emotions.
“Obviously it’s a little more sad playing just eight games instead of our regular 22, but I can’t complain,” Baker said.
Playing in her final game wasn’t the only reason why she was filled with a lot of emotion. Baker wasn’t even sure if she’d be able to play her senior season at all. It started back in July when her doctor noticed something during a routine physical.
“She was feeling my lymph nodes and everything, and she got down to my neck and asked, ‘Has anyone ever talked to you about this before?’” Baker said.
The doctors did some bloodwork and the results showed that she had thyroid cancer. The mass was almost four centimeters in diameter.
“I never had symptoms,” Baker said. “I never had anything that I wouldn’t have associated with being an athlete.”
A month later, Baker had surgery in Des Moines. At the same time, the Coe women’s soccer team wasn’t sure if there was going to be a season because of the pandemic. Normally, the Kohawks play during the fall. Instead, the season was pushed back to the spring. For Baker, it was almost a blessing in disguise because she’s not sure if she would’ve been able to play in the fall while recovering from her treatment.
“I used it as my motivation,” Baker said. “Life took something, but it was giving it back and giving me a second chance.”
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