by KELLY GUSICH | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Losing is Not an Option

November 2, 2014 seemed a regular day for the Harvey family. At dinner on Shelter Island, daughter Kasey mentioned having a cold, but then moved on to start a regular week, training with her U13 Arsenal soccer team and even completing a three-mile run. Continuing cold treatments were unsuccessful, and when she awakened on Nov. 5, her face had swollen considerably. A visit to the urgent care started with a sinus infection, then increased to a dental infection complete with root canal. Irregularities spotted at Carmel Valley Endodontics required a CT scan, which then showed a massive infection of the maxillary sinus orbit. A small surgery to remove the infectious material revealed not an infection, but cancer. Rhabdomyosarcoma.


Rhabdomyosarcoma is a rare, usually childhood cancer made up of cells that normally develop into skeletal muscles. Kasey’s rhabdomyosarcoma was in a location that was too difficult to reach as far as a surgical option, so her oncology team at Children’s Hospital prepared her for the difficult radiation and chemotherapy battle ahead. The support of her family and community have been crucial. “Having all these people know who I am and cheering me on helps so much!” Kasey said. “It motivates me to go into every chemo treatment with a smile on my face!”

faces_harvey_03Kasey lives by this motto: Losing is Not an Option. This means there is no other choice but to win this fight. “I still have a long life to live and losing just isn’t an option,” she shared. “When the days get tough I just think about my motto and it makes a difference.”

As she continues with her battle against cancer, Kasey is looking forward to rejoining her life. She’s played soccer since 2009 and wants to rejoin her Arsenal competitive team. “My last game was back in November, and I cannot wait to play again!” she expressed. Her eighth grade class at Mesa Verde Middle will be welcoming her back soon, where she wishes to continue with her favorite subject, science. “I really want to be a trauma surgeon when I’m older and science just seems the most interesting.” Kasey showed her doctors, her family, and community how using science and support have been vital. “They’ve all made this so much easier on our family and on me – knowing that they are all behind me every step of the way makes me want to work even harder.”

Name: Kasey Harvey
Community: Rancho Peñasquitos
Family: Parents – Rodney and Susan; Sister – Kaitlin; Dogs – Roxy and Moose
Hobbies: Soccer, working out, going to the beach, hanging out with friends and family
Upcoming Events: 5KASEY 5K Fun Run & Walk is coming up on Oct. 3 at Road Runner Sports in Kearny Mesa.