Kelsey Viens ( pronounced “Veens”) just wrapped up her
soccer career at North Attleboro
High School. The mere
face that she was able to compete this year still has folks in her town
Last spring Kelsey was feeling dizzy at times and had some blurred
vision. In July she was diagnosed with a brain tumor over her right eye the
size of a small lemon. Two months later, she was the starting goalie for the
girls varsity soccer team. I asked Kelsey if soccer was the furthest thing from
her mind when she came out of surgery. "No," she replied, "probably the first
thing…I just love soccer so much I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to play again.
I woke up and thought about my family and then pretty much soccer."
When Kelsey returned she didn’t wear a
helmet, rather a custom designed headband to protect her skull from any trauma,
direct hit or tumble to the ground. She told me she wasn’t nervous her first
day back but rather excited to be reunited with her friends and teammates.
parents were nervous however. My mom would freak out whenever the ball came
Kelsey’s contagious smile and work ethic energized her teammates,
especially the underclassmen.
"She is a great example of determination," beamed
her coach Geoff Burgess. "Kelsey is a role model, living proof that if you want
to get back on the field you can, no matter what stands in your way, no matter
I asked Kelsey is she was embarrassed by all of the attention
she was receiving.
"Kind of," she responded, "but if it encourages one boy or
girl to get back on their feet after a debilitating illness, then its worth