Beginning high school can be a stressful and challenging time for many adolescents. As if tougher classes, peer pressure and making difficult decisions about the future isn’t hard enough, Burgin sophomore Kaiden Lewis has been forced to face these challenges while battling a disease for which there is still no cure.
In April 2020, Lewis began to experience headaches, swollen eyes and a butterfly rash. She was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematous, specifically Lupus Nephritis, which targets the kidneys, the human body’s main waste filtration organ.
The life-changing diagnosis has been a terrible burden for Lewis, especially during the pandemic. At a time when the awareness and education of immune health has never been more important, Lewis has undergone chemotherapy treatments to fight her incurable affliction.
“I have always known myself to be a strong person, but during this, I have proven to myself just how strong. I have relied on my faith in God during every step of this journey. The chemo infusions always made me sick, but as each one came and went, I felt comfort in knowing that there was one less treatment to dread and one step closer to getting this into remission,” said Lewis.
The chemotherapy has left Lewis’ immune system compromised. As a result, she is unable to play the sport she loves, basketball. Lewis was the Burgin Lady Bulldog’s fourth highest scorer during the 2019-20 season, averaging 4.7 points per game as a freshman and was the highest scorer in 2018-2019 season, averaging 5.2 per game.
“I love it so much. I miss being on the court and the hype of the game going on. Even though times are different this year with COVID, I still wish I could be able to practice with the team,” said Lewis. She said she is determined to get back on the court as soon as she can.