Valdosta Daily Times

September 22, 2013

Triumph over cancer

Koryn Faircloth is a survivor

Desiree Murphy
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — For a social butterfly like Koryn Faircloth, the idea of cancer striking her life was the farthest thing from her mind. Yet in 2006, 13-year old Koryn was diagnosed with t-cell lymphoma. Seven years later, she is a thriving young mother with a bright future.

During her 8th grade year at Hahira Middle School, Koryn began feeling perpetually ill and bronchitis is what seemed to be the cause. However, in December, a lump appeared on her neck that could not be ignored. Initially, they were told the lump was nothing to be concerned with, but the family felt otherwise and sought a second opinion. After a visit to an ear, throat, and nose clinic, they were informed that it was not a normal lump and that a biopsy was needed immediately.

When the results returned, it shocked the family. Koryn's family was told that she had cancer and that she needed to immediately be taken to a hospital. She ended up going to Shand's hospital in Gainesville, Fla. Koryn was initially kept in the dark about her condition, but then had the news delivered to her in a room with her parents.

“It was difficult to understand,” says Koryn, “I was so young and thought it meant that I was going to die.”

The diagnosis sent this former cheerleader's life into a hectic downward spiral. She was given a intravenous port and began receiving chemotherapy. She endured 10 months of aggressive chemotherapy, which occurred four times a week. Koryn recalls how terrifying it was to be hooked up to so many machines.

The chemo was followed by one year of maintenance. Once completed, this marked the end of her long battle, which she made it through. Along the way, the community gave her no shortage of love and help.

Unfortunately, she also endured the loss of a friend she made during the cancer treatments. Koryn developed a close friendship with a girl named Haley Suggs who was also fighting a battle with cancer. The girls were allowed by the hospital to bunk together and they developed a strong bond. Sadly, Haley lost her battle with cancer, which was difficult for Koryn to deal with.

 “God is the only way to get through something this serious,” says Koryn, “My mother was always at my side with her Bible.”

While surviving childhood cancer is already a miracle, Koryn had the joy of being blessed with yet another miracle. After receiving so much chemotherapy, she was told by doctors that she would never be able to have children. However, in February of 2012, she was given the news that she was going to be a mother. Her daughter Kaylee Coker is now just one week shy of her first birthday and is a perfectly healthy infant.

Koryn still endures medical problems from her experiences. Prone to frequent fainting, she must be sure to remain properly hydrated and fed at all times.

“I was told I will have to baby my body for the rest of my life,” says Koryn, “But at least I'm here!”