Meet LPF Scholarship Recipient Katie Noble
Katie’s high school years were marked by a challenging ordeal—an ongoing struggle with an unbalanced gait. Her right hip protruded noticeably more than her left, but it wasn’t until her sophomore year that she began to experience discomfort in her left knee, specifically when applying pressure to a particular spot. Initially, healthcare professionals attributed this knee pain to compensation for her atypical walk.
However, a pivotal moment arrived when it was revealed that her unusual gait was a result of a labrum tear in her hip. In March 2019, she underwent corrective surgery for her hip. To her dismay, the persistent knee pain showed no signs of improvement and, in fact, continued to worsen over time. Troubled by this development, Katie underwent an MRI to investigate the root cause of her knee discomfort.
The MRI results uncovered the unfortunate cause of her issues —what was initially thought to be a cyst turned out to be synovial sarcoma, a rare form of soft tissue cancer. In the weeks following her diagnosis, Katie engaged in a whirlwind of consultations with specialists and doctors, ultimately leading to the development of a personalized treatment plan that offered a ray of hope.
The initial phase of her treatment involved a second surgery, aimed at excising any cancer-afflicted tissue from her left knee. This procedure resulted in the removal of a substantial portion of the affected area. To fill the void, a segment of her calf muscle was transplanted, and doctors also performed a skin graft. Remarkably, advanced medical techniques saved her leg, a feat that would have required amputation a decade ago.
Subsequently, Katie embarked on a challenging journey that encompassed seven rounds of intensive chemotherapy, accompanied by six weeks of radiation therapy. Each round of chemotherapy introduced new, formidable challenges and side effects, creating a physical and emotional rollercoaster. However, Katie persevered.
Finally, in January 2020, she reached a pivotal moment when she triumphantly rang the bell, symbolizing the completion of her treatment course and signaling her victorious battle against cancer. She now stands proudly as a three-year cancer survivor, grateful for each new day.
Now, she begins her next chapter with the help of The Limb Preservation Foundation. She is attending the University of Wyoming’s Art Education program. She is excited about the chance to enjoy college in the great outdoors at a school that is near her family, too.
Katie shared her experience with LPF, saying, “I am so grateful for the Limb Preservation Foundation and their scholarship, as it helps me to get closer to reaching my dreams of becoming an elementary art teacher. Without them I would be in a very different place, and I can’t say enough how thankful I am for the impact they have had on my life and on keeping my leg.”
Armed with the strength and resilience that comes from the journey she has already faced, Katie confidently approaches life’s challenges, knowing that if she could endure what she did, she can overcome anything that crosses her path.