Former FSU Swimmer McKenna Keith Beats Cancer

by John Durham 2

July 01st, 2019 ACC, College, News

Courtesy: Ginger Keith (used with permission)

Former Florida State swimmer McKenna Keith has had a whirlwind of a year. 

Keith was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in the summer of 2018. She went through treatment and learned she was cancer free right before Christmas. After missing all of the Seminoles’ meets in the fall, Keith returned for an emotional senior day on January 26 against FAU. 

“That was kind of just my driving point the whole time, I’m going to make it for January for my senior meet,” Keith said. “That’s the end goal and there’s not going to be anything else stopping me on the way there. It was definitely a moment that I’ll always remember.”

Keith participated in one final meet, the Auburn Invite in early February. Getting to be around here teammates and friends for her final season of college swimming and semester of school meant a lot to Keith. 

“It was incredible,” Keith said. “Just being back there in Tallahassee with them and seeing everyone everyday was just … so nice to be back, especially everything that they did to me with sending support and sending love and getting me through a really tough time. It was nice to be back there and just be with them and be with my team like physically.

Since that Auburn meet, Keith graduated magna cum laude with her degree in sociology. 

“Well I graduated, pretty big news,” Keith said. “I was lucky enough to get through school and finish all my classes. I was taking online classes during chemo just to keep up and be able to graduate on time. Definitely an incredible moment just to walk across the stage and know I kind of did that for myself.” 

She has since been applying to nursing schools and hopes to travel as well. Keith, who was originally a nursing major when she went to South Carolina, feels like her personal experience with cancer will allow her to help others going through similar situations. 

While she was going through chemo, Keith would ask constantly ask questions in an attempt to learn more about her disease. 

“I want to be helping people and just knowing that I’ve been there and that I know those emotions, I know what it feels like, I definitely think that would help someone else who is going through the same thing,” Keith said. 

As for swimming, Keith said she has yet to get back in the water but that swimming will always be her “home base”. 

“I can see myself doing triathlons or something like that but I am anxious and itching to get back in the water just for fun,” Keith said. “Maybe one day I’ll go race but right now I think just start it off with a 200 maybe.”

McKenna Keith (Courtesy: Kaitlyn Dressel)

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SWIMMER

Fabulous news! All the best to McKenna.

Friend

Congrats McKenna! You are such an inspiration.

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