Ironically that’s the same diagnosis Natalie would receive…
Natalie’s story began on October 22, 1998 when she was born in Northfield, MN. She was a healthy baby girl weighing 8 lbs. 13 oz. She continued to be healthy growing up. When she was just a baby, her dad Kevin was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma. Ironically that’s the same diagnosis Natalie would receive in 2011 when she was just 13 years old, a 7th grader.
It started with a lump that she found on her neck. After going through chemotherapy & radiation – losing her hair in the process – the cancer seemed to be gone. She continued her active participation in sports and school activities. Throughout, Natalie continued to have regular checkups at the Mayo Clinic & in March of 2014, at the age of 15, she was told that there was a recurrence of the Hodgkin Lymphoma. This time she had chemotherapy & a stem cell transplant resulting in a lengthy hospital stay at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, MN which was the summer between her Freshman & Sophomore years of high school. They used her own cells for the transplant. Again, she lost her hair in the process.
By the Fall volleyball season, that same year, she was honored and blessed to be chosen as a recipient of Melby Memorial Charities. We have so appreciated the financial support and the supportive relationship with Paul [Fishbaugher] and the Melby Memorial group. Throughout this whole ordeal, Natalie has been blessed with a wonderful support system. From her family to her friends, her classmates to her teammates, her teachers and coaches – it has been amazing.
Natalie has continued to have good doctor reports in the years since her recurrence. In the Spring of 2017, Natalie graduated from Kenyon-Wanamingo High School and started the next chapter in her life by attending the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis with a major in Biochemistry with hopes of becoming an Orthodontist. In the summer of 2017, Natalie even brought a team to Rochester to play in the Melby Memorial Volleyball Tournament & hopes to continue doing so each summer.
We [Hildebrandt family] are so appreciative of the many blessings we have received and are so thankful for what the Melby Memorial Charities have done for Natalie and our family that we hope to pass that good will on & support the MMC in their future good deeds.
Written credits: Renee Hildebrandt (Mother of Natalie)