Editor’s note: This story first appeared in the July 6 print edition of the Haysville Sun-Times. To subscribe, call 316-540-0500.
By Sam Jack
On June 20, Haysville Piranhas swim coach Kelly Kennedy was with his wife, Pam, as she underwent surgery to combat breast cancer.
When her single mastectomy and reconstruction surgeries were complete and she was awake again, Kelly showed Pam Facebook posts from a Wellington swim meet the Piranhas competed in that day.
More than 100 kids and parents at the meet wore bracelets, painted their cars and made waterproof temporary tattoos to support Pam and Kelly.
“I had just told them the night before that my wife was having major surgery,” Kelly said. “There were a few women on the team that organized this, and I had no knowledge of what they were doing until I saw the first pictures and postings on Facebook. I was just blown away.”
Pam, who works as a teacher at Tri-City Day School, said she felt very blessed by the support.
“I still get choked up about it,” she said. “That was very humbling. … It just really touched my heart.”
Kelly, who also coaches swimming at Campus High School, said it was hard to put into words what the support meant.
“It was out of the blue and so quick. There’s a reason swimmers are close to my heart,” he said.
Pam had follow-up appointments with specialists in the days following the surgery. She is hoping that she will not need radiation treatment.
“I’m just trying to take it one day at a time,” she said.