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"The Swim with Mike scholarship has allowed me to focus on becoming the best recreational therapist I can be and to ultimately give back to our community. My education has allowed me to help others explore adaptive recreation just as I was helped during my journey."
Growing up in Summit County, Colorado gave Kelly many opportunities to participate in sports such as mountain biking, ski racing and ice hockey. In 2007 she started to experience unexplained symptoms which lead to years of medical tests and misdiagnoses. In 2009 she was diagnosed with Lyme Disease as well as other chronic illnesses including gastroparesis, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, and food allergies. During high school she traveled the US to receive specialized treatment including nine surgeries. She returned home two years later finishing up high school with her class and competing on the swim team. In 2013 Kelly’s mom passed away as a result of stage four metastatic breast cancer. The loss affected Kelly greatly as her mom served as her primary caregiver. Kelly attended Regis University, but her health quickly declined and led her to be in the hospital 14 times. In 2015 a viral infection led Kelly to be bedridden and lose the ability to walk. After years of rehabilitation Kelly is now getting her Bachelor of Arts in therapeutic recreation and a minor in psychology.