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Road To Resilience: A Fundraiser for Kyle’s Recovery #StepByStepp

by Kyle Stepp

Supporting: HELPING HANDS for Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation

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When he was 14 years old, Kyle was diagnosed with stage 4 osteosarcoma, an aggressive rare form of bone cancer. Kyle battled his cancer for three years and eventually underwent a limb salvage surgery which removed his femur, knee, and tibia and replaced them with an internal prosthetic. With a limb salvage surgery, there is always the possibility that the patient may undergo an amputation in the future. This can be due to a failure of the medical device or an injury. Kyle was fully aware that one day, he might lose his leg permanently.

On the morning of October 17, 2020, Kyle was doing what he loves most. Kyle was mountain biking down the ski runs in Angel Fire, NM. On his last run down the mountain, Kyle lost control of his bike and flew into a tree. Kyle broke his femur and ankle in his left leg, where his internal prosthetic was located. When he hit the tree, Kyle’s prosthetic separated from his femur and snapped in half.

“In that moment, when I was laying on the mountain, I knew the day I had been preparing for was coming. The day I was going to have my amputation.”

On October 20, Kyle went through yet another surgery. His left leg was amputated above the knee. Soon, Kyle will be fitted for a prosthetic and learn to walk again. His road to recovery – and ultimately, back to the mountain – will be long and challenging. It will also be expensive.

Kyle has dedicated his life to serving others and supporting charitable endeavors. In 2013, Kyle founded LoboTHON Dance Marathon. Dance Marathon is a student-lead philanthropy that raises money in support of Children Miracle Network Hospitals across the nation.

Now, Kyle works as a Cause Partnerships Manager for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. He also serves as an ambassador for the Lobo Cancer Challenge charity bike race and as the Co-President of the Board of Directors for Camp Enchantment. This year, Kyle completed his first century bike ride for the Lobo Cancer Challenge, raising thousands of dollars for the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center.

This fundraising effort was birthed out of Kyle’s passion and drive to serve and support others. Now, we have the opportunity to give back to him. The goal for this fundraiser is a rough estimate of what we think his medical expenses might be. After his medical costs are covered, Kyle plans to set up a fund at UNM Foundation to support other kids, teens, and young adults experiencing the loss of a limb, to help them live life to the fullest.