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Athletes demonstrate grit

Two seniors battle the daily struggles of high school after cancer

CAN+YOU+DIG+IT%3A+Senior+Shane+Moylan+passes+the+ball+with+a+teammate+before+the+Metro+Tournament+hosted+in+the+Woodshed.+Moylan+and+his+team+won+the+tournament%2C+advancing+them+further+in+the+series.+%0A
CAN YOU DIG IT: Senior Shane Moylan passes the ball with a teammate before the Metro Tournament hosted in the Woodshed. Moylan and his team won the tournament, advancing them further in the series.

CAN YOU DIG IT: Senior Shane Moylan passes the ball with a teammate before the Metro Tournament hosted in the Woodshed. Moylan and his team won the tournament, advancing them further in the series.

Photo by Nick Perkins

Photo by Nick Perkins

CAN YOU DIG IT: Senior Shane Moylan passes the ball with a teammate before the Metro Tournament hosted in the Woodshed. Moylan and his team won the tournament, advancing them further in the series.

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For the average high school senior, juggling athletics, schoolwork, extracurriculars, possibly jobs, along with college applications is exhausting. Adding a life threatening illness on top of all these struggles is something a typical high schooler cannot begin to fathom. However, for two seniors, this became a reality.

Senior Shane Moylan battled and defeated a rare form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma not only during grade school, but also during his sophomore year. Kathleen Soller, a senior as well, found out at the end of her junior year she had Primary Mediastinal Large B-Cell Lymphoma, which she also defeated.

While spending days in Riley receiving chemotherapy treatments, both Soller and Moylan remained involved with their extracurriculars along with demanding course loads.

During Soller’s senior year alone, she was on the gymnastics team, cross country team and first-ever girls lacrosse team. She was a board member for both South Deanery Dance Marathon and Anna’s Celebration of Life. Soller is also a student council co-president, holding the record for most Stu-Co points ever earned (147), and a member of the ski club.

“I didn’t want cancer to be the reason I couldn’t participate in anything,” Soller said. “Doing the things I loved kept my mind off how sick I was and always improved my mood.”

Moylan has been a four-year member of the boys volleyball team as well as being the girls volleyball manager this year. Like Soller, he was also on the South Deanery Dance Marathon committee, which benefits Riley Hospital, where they were both treated.

While continuing their regularly scheduled routines, they inspired those who surrounded them.

“Seeing Kathleen so positive and hardworking makes me more diligent,” said sophomore teammate Cassidy Cross. “She helps us stay organized and focused and she has been a great inspiration [for the team].”

Soller and Moylan have both decided to pursue a degree in nursing, due to the influence of the nurses at Riley. They both intend on returning to Riley Children’s Hospital, this time as employees rather than patients.

“I really want to give back to Riley for all the things they did to help me,” Moylan said.“I would not be here today if it was not for them.”

Moylan and Soller have created their own unique legacy here. While balancing the ordinary life of a student athlete constantly going to battle for the name across their chest, they also fought and won in a fight for their lives. Their fight against cancer is truly admirable to those who surround them and their willingness to not let cancer define themselves, but instead use it to find great success. This is not something found in your everyday high schooler. With illness behind them and goals set ahead of them, the two only have good things to look forward to in their futures.

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About the Photographer
Nick Perkins, Staff Writer

Nick Perkins is a junior at Roncalli. He is in involved in Cross Country, Tack, and AP Art. After high school, Nick plans to attend IU to study political science. This is his 2nd year on staff. He likes debating and being a patriot to his country.

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