Kathleen O’Connor

Defender For Life.
Tough. Exuberant. Driven. Unconquerable.

From US Lacrosse |  By Justin Feil

When lacrosse defender Kathleen O’Connor felt shoulder pain at the beginning of her junior year in college, she thought nothing of it. She’d never been sick, never missed a game or even a practice on her way to filling a key spot on the Division 1 Villanova Women’s lacrosse team. In fact, until this blip, she’d never been injured either. Shoulder pain led to exhaustion, fevers, a swollen lymph node and eventually a diagnosis of a very rare form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma that is found in only one percent of all NHL patients. Because of her fitness, she qualified for a highly aggressive experimental treatment. Five brutal months of terrifying side effects and more days in the hospital than out, and a year of getting herself back in shape, she is returning to the lacrosse field as a starting defender and a team that never left her side.

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