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LCU student calls finding brain tumor ‘blessing in disguise’

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Posted at 6:53 PM, Dec 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-07 19:53:06-05

By Julie Castaneda

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A blessing in disguise. That’s what a local mom says after an accident uncovers her daughter’s unknown medical condition. Kelsi Rodriguez is a cheerleader and freshman at Lubbock Christian University.

During a recent practice, Kelsi tried to catch a falling teammate and suffered a concussion. Kelsi’s mom Cassandra Rodriguez said that if it wasn’t for that accident, doctors wouldn’t have found the tumor on Kelsi’s brain.

“She called and tried to break a girl’s fall and she hit her head. I asked her if she was okay. She said that she was in a lot of pain, her arm went a little numb, and she finished out practice, which was a no-no, but she said that she was going to sleep it off.”

The accident happened during a late-night cheer practice, and Kelsi didn’t go to the doctor until she hit her head again about 2 weeks later. "The dorm rooms are so tiny. She ran into her closet door. The front of the head,” said Cassandra. “She called that night. She said that she had a really bad headache and felt nauseous. That’s when I said that we better get you checked out. We took her to small ER place. They did a CT scan and that’s when they found the cyst. Which was a ping pong ball sized. So, it’s big.”

Kelsi had to have an MRI and see a neurosurgeon. “That’s when he showed us the cyst which is viable, he pointed to another area, this is my concern, there is a brain tumor.”

Kelsi is scheduled for surgery on Monday. Doctors will remove the tumor. “We kind of feel like the concussion is blessing. as crazy as it sounds. because we wouldn’t have found it before,” said Cassandra.

“It’s been a blessing disguise," added Kelsi. "Cheer is something that I’ve loved, and it is helping me in the long run, because without that concussion I would have never—it would have gone unnoticed.”

Once the tumor is removed, it will be tested to see if its benign or not. Kelsi is ready for surgery. She says, "It’s humbling knowing, I have an army of solders praying for me. I’m kind of excited about surgery. I’m excited to see what God has in store for everything. It will show how great He truly is and how amazing and powerful prayer is.”

LCU released a statement about Kelsi on Thursday, saying:

“As word of Kelsi’s condition began to spread across campus, various student groups and the campus as a whole prayed for her and showed their support to Kelsi. I know that her peers on the cheer squad have also been very supportive.  We will continue to pray for her as she approaches surgery, and we will continue to pray for and support her following her surgery.” 

Randal Dement, Vice President of Student Affairs, Lubbock Christian University

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family pay for what insurance will not cover. Click here to donate.

Click here to follow Kelsi’s story.

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