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.