Former USC Cheerleader Battling Leukemia

11:37 PM, Nov 14, 2013   |    comments
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Katie Baden with her friends and family.

Columbia, SC (WLTX)- A former University of South Carolina cheerleader is used to standing on the sidelines at Williams-Brice Stadium cheering on the Gamecocks, but now she has thousands cheering for her.

Katie Baden graduated from USC in December of 2011 with a degree in finance. She moved back to her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia right after school and began working. One month before her 25th birthday, though, she was diagnosed with T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

"Is this a dream? I mean no one thinks in their head, oh, I'm going to have cancer," said Katie. "It is so weird to even say out loud."

Overnight bags are now filled with dozens of pill bottles, her college roommate helping with medicine instead of standing by her side cheering on the Gamecocks and packing hospital bags has become a weekly routine. Her sisters, Wende and Jessica, live in Atlanta and have taken on the role of her caregivers.

"You have sit back and think how fortunate you are that you caught it early and that is a strong and athletic," said her oldest sister, Jessica.

The past few years have been filled with weddings and births, but the Baden family has also lost loved ones. Their mom passed away from a brain aneurysm in 2008.

"It is hard to say but we have been there before," said Jessica.

Gamecock nation rallied around Katie when she lost her mom and the garnet and black continue to support her in her latest challenge. But the support doesn't stop there: thousands of people from across the country are sending their support via facebook.

"Cancer can't do backflips but Katie can spread like wildfire," said Molly Kirkpatrick, a senior on the USC cheerleading team.

Katie will be having aggressive chemo treatments for the next six months.

"I think you progress better if you are positive," said Katie. "Everyone is going to have bad days but I really try to stay positive."

To follow Katie's journey Click Here or Here.

To help with medical expenses you can donate at any Wells Fargo in the country.  The account is called "Katie Baden Cancer Fund."

 

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