The 2017 Athlete in Need is Cassie Gorecki. Cassie is a St. Louis Public Schools Physical Education teacher who coached Girls on the Run for many years. Cassie played field hockey and soccer at Cor Jesu Academy and went on to play field hockey on scholarship in college. Cassie and her husband Adam were ecstatic last fall to find out their sports-loving family would be expanded. However, when “Baby G” was 21 weeks, Cassie was diagnosed with a malignant tumor, Chondrosarcoma, on her spine and back. The tumor was the size of a football. They put off surgery for the safety of the baby, and at 32 weeks Baby Gus was born. He spent 49 days in the Special Care Unit at Barnes Hospital, while Cassie underwent a grueling 10 hour surgery. Unfortunately, Cassie is now suffering paralysis from the waist down. She has a long road ahead of physical and occupational therapy, as well as 7 weeks of radiation as a preventative measure.
Gus came home with Adam on May 3, and they visit Cassie every day at the skilled nursing facility. “She’s fighting,” her husband Adam said. And just last week she had some voluntary leg movement; she was able to move each foot when the doctors held her knees and told her to kick a ball. Truly, Cassie exemplifies what it means to be a champion.
Meet Cassie here: https://www.teamgorecki.com/