Overcoming adversity of a loved one

It is never easy to muster up the strength to stay calm and focused when you hear of your parents getting sick. It is even harder to hold yourself together when you hear that your mother has been diagnosed with breast cancer, but Liberty hockey player Luke Aitken said he gained strength and a new appreciation for his mother when she was battling cancer during his sophomore year.

“I first thought the worst case scenario: that my mom was going to be ill and never get better. To be honest, I didn’t know what to think,” Aitken said as he recalled the time when he first heard of his mother’s cancer over the phone.

“She is a strong, caring woman who has always taken care of me. Now that solid rock that I have been looking up to my whole life is vulnerable and sick. That was a scary portion of the news.”

Kathy Aitken had gone to the doctor because of a suspicious lump that she found, and the doctors found it to be a cancerous tumor. Over the course of the next few months, Kathy Aitken went through multiple surgeries and various treatments including chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

“I was away from home while she was going through the surgeries, chemo, and radiation. So I didn’t see every step of the way how hard it was for her and my dad. But I know it was a huge journey that my mom went through,” Luke Aitken said.

He also added that seeing his mother keep a positive attitude throughout her battle with cancer has even affected the way he plays hockey, reminding him that no matter how hard things might be, it is nothing compared to what his mother and family had to go through.

Kathy Aitken has since recovered from her bout with cancer and remains a strong pillar for her husband Bruce and her three sons. She is also becoming a pillar of support for other women who share her experience as she is involved in giving support for others who have breast cancer.

Luke Aitken is currently a senior playing the forward position for the Liberty Men’s Hockey Team.

He has been a fan favorite during his time playing at the LaHaye Ice center. He has been a regular member of the team, often playing in the center and dons the number 19 jersey.

The Liberty Men’s Hockey Team has continued to have an impressive record during the last few seasons and has started the current season with a very strong start.

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