Katie Hawley is a fighter.
Katie was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 9. Since the summer before she started 4th grade, she has been through at least a dozen surgeries, two dozen chemotherapy treatments, more than two dozen radiation treatments, and dozens more scans and blood transfusions.
Understandably, Katie was ready to quit. In an interview with ESPN, Katie’s dad told the reporter Katie told him, “Dad, I’m done this time. I just want to go.”
Thankfully, her willingness to fight was restored by an unlikely source—the Anaheim Ducks, and their All-Star center Rickard Rakell. Katie’s family had a number of friends and neighbors who were Duck season ticket holders. They would often donate their tickets to Katie to go see a game when she had a rough day. When the Ducks organization, and Rakell specifically, heard about Katie’s condition they were quick to encourage her to keep fighting, even making her an honorary “21st Duck” and sending her to All-Star Weekend.
Katie’s story stands in stark contrast to that of another young woman, Brittany Maynard. In Brittany’s case, instead of having an organization come alongside her and encourage her to fight, she was encouraged by the old Hemlock Society, rebranded as “Compassion and Choices” to kill herself.
The contrasting stories of Katie and Brittany are a good reminder to all of us that sometimes people fighting serious illness need someone to come alongside them and encourage them to fight. Part of being pro-life is being like the Ducks and coming alongside those who need help and showing that assisted suicide is not the answer.