Volleyball Star Credits Coaches, Trainers with Detecting Cancer
MCLEAN, Va. (WUSA) -- Two years ago, Maureen Marsh was the only freshman on Langley High School's Varsity Volleyball Team.
"After practices and on the drive home, my knee would just hurt a lot," remembers Marsh.
Her doctors told the 6-foot-1, 14-year-old that it was growing pains. But then, her high school's trainer got a look at her aching right knee.
"I never thought in a million years that it would be cancer,"said Kara Chiocchio, a trainer at Langley High School. "But I had noticed that her patella was a little offset and something just didn't seem right."
Turns out, that aching knee was a rare and rapidly spreading form of bone cancer.
"I was pretty shocked because I've never even broken a bone or been sick. It was just shock," said Marsh.
After 20 weeks of chemotherapy and a full knee replacement surgery, Maureen isn't just back at Langley High School. She's also back playing volleyball.
"To come back in and just go for it, it was very impressive," said Susan Shifflett, Maureen's Volleyball Coach.
But the Marsh family says that equally impressive was the school's support throughout their year-long ordeal.
"No doubt they helped save her life," said Maureen's mom, Carol Marsh. "And they did it without any expectation of thanks."
Carol Marsh successfully lobbied Congressman Jim Moran (D - Va.) to recognize the school in the state's congressional record. The congressman thanked the school staff, teachers, trainers, and coaches at an event Monday morning.
"They caught it in time, saved her leg, she's now a straight A student, and she's a star volleyball player. She's a survivor," said Moran.