WALLED LAKE, Mich. (WXYZ) -
Before Kate Rendi graduated from Walled Lake Central in 2012, her goal was to head off to college in hopes of becoming a teacher.
But the Michigan State student said those career plans changed quickly after what happened during her final basketball game as a senior.
"We had our last basketball game, and it was my best game by far. My best rebounding [and] offensively, I did things I [had] never done before. It was like my last shot as a player, and then I woke up the Saturday morning and was diagnosed."
The 18-year-old Rendi was diagnosed with hodgkins lymphoma, which is a form of cancer.
"It's not rare for the age group [that I'm in]. I fell right into it, and with [being a] women too, I fell right into it," said Rendi. "It's of the lymph node so I had it in my neck and then in my chest."
Rendi said that hodgkins lymphoma has caused other side effects, too.
"As you can see with my foot; I'm in to have five surgeries to repair my legs," said Rendi. "The chemo and the steroids killed all the bones so this is a challenge I'm dealing with, and I'll be dealing with this for a couple of more months."
A special moment at halftime on Friday as the Vikings basketball family delivered Rendi's No. 34 jersey in a frame.
"She epitomizes strength, determination and courage and we want to take that opportunity tonight because she meant so much to our program; she means so much to us as a person. And just take this opportunity to recognize her and her journey," said Michelle Fortier, who coaches the Walled Lake Central girls varsity basketball team.
"When she was diagnosed with hodgkins lymphoma, it was such a shock," Joanna Finn, who is Rendi's best friend and shooting guard for the Walled Lake Central varsity basketball team, said. "You couldn't believe your best friend would go through that but she's a strong girl, she fought through it and she's a survivor now."
"My last test came back clear again, which was really positive so it hasn't [come back] yet," said Rendi. "I'm really hopeful and positive that it won't come back."
As Rendi moves forward, her new goal is to become a nurse one day.
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