This is the story of Kelsey:

Now a 26-year-old third year at William S. Boyd School of Law, Kelsey hopes to work as a Judicial Clerk next fall after she graduates. While Kelsey has been in remission for 23 years, she says her cancer diagnosis has been a guiding force in her life.

While Kelsey doesn’t remember much about the actual experience of her cancer treatment, the memories are still fresh for her mother, Becky. “It was kind of crazy timing,” Becky recalls. “Not that cancer ever hits you when you’re like, ‘Wow, I’m totally prepared for this,’ but Reese, Kelsey’s little sister, was just seven weeks old when Kelsey was diagnosed. Kelsey was only 19 months old. Like any family going through this, we were completely thrown for a loop. You go from what is just a normal life, to sitting in a meeting with a doctor deciding if you’re going to do a clinical trial.

“Up until that point, you have no familiarity even of what a treatment roadmap is. Candlelighters was there immediately to explain everything to us and help us understand what the next two years of our life was going to look like.

Kelsey went through two years and two months of chemotherapy on a clinical trial that combined the use of three drugs to be inserted through her spine. Becky remembers the team of providers at the hospital and clinic doing their best to keep the kids happy and entertained. She also says the help of family and friends, as well as the support of Candlelighters, helped them through the difficulty of Kelsey’s journey.

“Following Kelsey’s treatment, we were inspired, like a lot of cancer families are, to give back and serve the community that supported us so much. Kelsey and Reese both went to camp and Kelsey has returned as a counselor at Camp Firefly.”

While Kelsey’s cancer treatment ended long ago, Candlelighters always remained a part of her life. In fact, Kelsey received a Candlelighters scholarship to help her through this next phase of her life.

“I knew when I started law school that I needed to do something that would be meaningful and help people have a chance at living lives safe from illness. An opportunity arose during my fall semester of 2022. My legislative writing professor assigned us a policy brief on a problem of our selection. At that time, I had heard that some tampons contain dangerous chemicals in them. Once I started researching, I was horrified to find out that carcinogenic chemicals had been found by third parties in menstrual products. To make matters worse, the FDA does not require companies to disclose what is contained within their products. I ended up writing my brief about this issue, and advocating for the Nevada State Legislature to pass a law requiring companies to put an ingredient label on their products. My professor liked the paper and gave me the number of an assemblywoman who might be interested in sponsoring the bill. Long story short - after months of lobbying the bill and testifying before our legislature, Governor Lombardo signed my bill into law. Beginning in 2025, Nevada will join California and New York as the only states that demand transparency from companies who produce menstrual products.” Kelsey says this has been her proudest accomplishment thus far in Law School. “I don’t remember my cancer treatment, but it has influenced me and what I care about. I will continue to advocate for the public so that they don’t have to experience what my family and I did during my fight against my illness.”