by Kaela Cruz
ALSF Hero Ambassador Kaela Cruz lost her leg to osteosarcoma, the most common type of childhood bone cancer, when she was just 5 years old. Read more about her story, in her own words.
My name is Kaela Cruz and I'm a junior paralympic athlete. When I was 5 years old, I suffered from osteosarcoma, which is a form of bone cancer. I lost left leg because of it. The past was very horrifying and it kind of stinks to look back. However, now, I've learned be grateful, think positive, love myself for who I am and to be proud of my many accomplishments. I am so excited to tell you:
I fought with all my heart and beat cancer! I have been cancer free for 13 years and I have done so much and could not be happier.
The things I love and enjoy doing is playing the ukulele on my spare time and hanging out with friends and family. I do track and field on Fridays and swim 4 times a week. I'm on the
Navigators Adaptive Sports team and we train for upcoming competitions in our area or travel around the country. I am also involved with the Challenged Athletes Foundation and they helped me stay active and granted me a running prosthetic to help me run. Just recently, I went to Wisconsin with my team for the Adaptive Sports USA Junior Nationals Competition. Our team netted 146 medals (105 Gold, 27 Silver and 14 Bronze). We set several new national records; and once again we placed first in the Large Team category. I recieved 8 gold metals from nationals. It was awesome!
I got involved with Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation when our family met Alex's parents, Liz |and Jay, at the Childhood Cancer Symposium in Philadelphia several years ago. Since then we've been part of so many different events, including The Million Mile.
The Million Mile really means so much to me. It gives me an opportunity where I can be active, hang out with my friends and family and get other people involved.
I have been able to tell my story and inspire kids and adults to make a difference to help end pediatric cancer. If I can do this, so can you! No excuses, get out there, grab your family, neighbors and friends and run, walk and cycle. Log in those miles, make a donation and make a difference! Have Fun Everyone!