Our Current Hero

STILL KICKIN HERO FEBRUARY 2019

EVERY MONTH, WE PROVIDE FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO AN AWESOME PERSON OR FAMILY GOING THROUGH SOMETHING AWFUL.    


 MEET MARISSA.

A photo of Marissa recovering in a hospital bed after her amputation surgery. She has a smile on her face and is surrounded by stuffed animals.

Marissa was diagnosed with a form of dysplasia when she was just a baby that, among other things, meant her left leg ended up being longer than her right, causing all sorts of hip problems throughout childhood. When she was 12 years old, knee and ankle pain during basketball tryouts led to an MRI that revealed Marissa had a tumor in her ankle. 


It was a desmoid tumor, a kind of tumor that isn't cancerous but is still super aggressive and acts very cancer-y in that it invades surrounding, healthy tissue. Rude, right? 


Marissa had surgery at age 14 to remove the tumor. But it came back -- and bigger than before. Also rude. So she had another surgery. 


A year and a half later, the tumor returned. She underwent surgery to remove it. 


And then it came back again. Another surgery. Wash, rinse, repeat. 


Then, just a few months later, the tumor CAME BACK AGAIN. 

By this point, Marissa's leg had atrophied from spending so much time in a medical boot recovering from all of those surgeries. She'd long been an avid runner and now only had about 40% usage of her foot. Marissa wanted to be able to take her own dogs out for a walk again. She wanted to sign up for a 5K (even if it meant she'd be walking the whole time). 


So with the support of her doctors and family, 20-year-old Marissa decided to amputate her leg. Not an easy decision by any means, but a necessary one, she felt, if Marissa wanted to improve her quality of life. 


Marissa recently got fitted for a "sleeve," which, in her own words, "shapes the stump so it can fit into the prosthetic." She hopes to eventually purchase a running prosthetic on top of a daily prosthetic so she can get back to the activities she loves. But prosthetics are expensive (surprise, surprise!) and that's where Still Kickin comes in. With your help, we're giving Marissa a financial grant to #HelpAHumanOut. 

A photo of Marissa with her dog Koko Bean. Marissa is sitting in a chair at home recovering from amputation surgery, and Koko Bean is taking good care of her.


When you shop our merch or make a donation, you help people like Marissa get through the hard stuff. 

Make a purchase at StillKickin.Co/Collections. Or donate at GiveMN.Org/StillKickin.