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Cougar Resilience: Dr. Kellly Cahill

Dr. Cahill overcomes bone cancer and leg amputation

Posted: Jun 24, 2021 11:23 PM

Lafayette, LA (KADN) -- This is Dr. Kelly Cahill's wake-up call six days a week at five in the morning. Eight years ago he started lifting weight to stay in shape but at 43, he already carried enough.

"As a sophomore in high school, I was diagnosed with bone cancer in my leg," Kelly explained.

After a year of chemotherapy, Kelly thought it was all over, but the cancer wasn't gone. So he decided to have his left leg amputated his senior year at STM.

You go from an invincible 16-year-old to not so overnight," Kelly said.  "Not only physical setback but an emotional and psychological setback to get back into that mode of fighting again, but we did it!" 

Kelly's goal was to walk at his graduation and three months later he pulled it off.

"I went through a brief period of depression," Kelly said.  "I was grieving the loss. It was very similar to going through chemo you have to take one day at a time and one step at a time literally." 

Whether it is here at the gym or out at the beach, Kelly has an adventure telling people random stories about he lost his left leg.

"One little boy asked me if my leg was going to grow back," Kelly said.

"Then my pat answer at the beach is that a shark bit it off,"  Kelly said. 

Kelly has three kids. one once took him to show and tell at school.   He has one message to tell to anyone facing adversity.

"Everyone has their cross to bear but for me, mine is a little bit more visual,"  Kelly said.  "But you can only take one day at a time." 

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