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Kelsey T.


After surviving a brain tumor at the age of 5 and being a world champion athlete by 13 I had a stroke at the age of 15

My name is Kelsey Tainsh, I am currently a junior at the University of Florida pursuing a degree in Recreation and Event Management.

At the age of 5 I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. After surgery and radiation my life started to get back to normal. I started to volunteer and give back and realized that there was nothing I enjoyed more than helping other people. After being a Make-A-Wish kid I was featured in their Stories of Light Campaign where I helped them raise over 250,000 dollars. I started working with Florida Hospital, modeling for charity and going on medical mission trips, and started my own organization called Pet-A-Pup which brings puppies into the hospital for the patients to see. In many of these opportunities I had the privilege of public speaking and sharing my story with others.  Motivational Public Speaking became a passion of mine at a very young age.

When I wasn't volunteering I was playing sports. By the time I was 13 I was ranked 2nd in the nation, 3rd in the world for girls wakeboarding. I made the varsity volley ball team in the 7th grade and in high school became a varsity light weight rower. It was around the time that my boat helped our team win the state championship rowing competition for Florida that I found out that my brain tumor had come back after 10 years. I went to have surgery and ended up having a stroke at the age of 15, leaving me completely paralyzed on the right side of my body.

Now unable to move the entire right side of my body I had to learn to do everything over again from walking and talking to tying my shoes and eating. It has been a long journey but since having a stroke I have been able to graduate high school on time and come to UF with my two triplet sisters. While I started in a wheel chair and could not walk for several months since having a stroke I have accomplish many of the goals that I set for myself including running, rowing, and surfing again. My new goal is to swim in the paralympics one day. I can currently swim over a mile in the pool.

As I pursue my degree at the University of Florida I am continuing to volunteer and give back as much as possible. I am public speaking more than ever and I hope to write a book in the near future. I have realized that life is short and that great opportunities can come out of the hardest times in life. It is because of what I have been through that I always try to live life to the fullest and help others just as they have helped me.


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Display of the Faces of Stroke stories does not imply National Stroke Association's endorsement of any product, treatment, service or entity. National Stroke Association strongly recommends that people ask a healthcare professional about diagnosis and treatment questions before using any product, treatment or service. The views expressed through the stories reflect those of the authors and do not reflect the opinion of National Stroke Association.

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