Every week, Kendall Krick’s father injects her with a chemotherapy drug called methotrexate.
Timing is everything with the injection, because, even though it is a small dose, it makes her ill, feeling nauseated and weak.
Once that passes, after a day or so, the fierce, determined senior point guard is ready to roll and lead her Chandler Seton Catholic basketball teammates on the court.
She has done this since was diagnosed with dermatomyositis in the second grade, when she’d be in tears because she couldn’t reach the rim with her shot in basketball and would fall every time she changed directions on the soccer field.
She has done this for four years as a starter in the Seton dynasty, a part of three consecutive state championships, a high school career capped recently with a state championship.
And she will do this for the next four years at Marist College in New York, where she earned a Division I basketball scholarship, despite a disease that threatens to take her down.
“To be an athlete with a disease that attacks your muscles is mind boggling,” Seton coach Karen Self said. “Her determination to excel, despite this condition has resulted in an athlete with incredible work ethic and a Division I scholarship.”
‘Adamant to do it’
In the second grade, Jim Krick was getting ready to coach Kendall’s youth basketball team. But something was amiss. Kendall couldn’t make a shot. The family had a hoop with a basket that could be raised and lowered.
She tried to make a free throw. She couldn’t do that. She was able to do it the previous season. She thought maybe she had peaked at basketball in the first grade.
“I just told my dad, ‘I’m just not good at basketball anymore,’ ” Krick said.
Kendall would move onto soccer. She would be running in one direction, make a turn, then tumble. Sylvia Krick would hold back tears, as she watched her daughter fall 40 to 50 times a game, unable to kick the ball without falling down.
It became so hard to watch that Sylvia said, “I don’t know if I want her to continue with this.”
“She was adamant to do it,” Sylvia said.
Because she didn’t have any physical issues a year earlier, the parents brought her to the family physician, who had her see multiple doctors, before the diagnosis was made.