Former Chiefs players honor two student cancer survivors

Freshman Bobby Dyche and Karsyn Aylward are recognized for their battles against cancer

Kate Ocker, JAG Student Life editor

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Freshmen Bobby Dyche and Karsyn Aylward were honored in an assembly hosted by the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation on Wednesday, April 13.

Both Dyche and Aylward are now in remission after being diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer as eighth graders.

The induction was kept a secret from both Dyche and Aylward until they were called down to the middle of the gymnasium to receive their own Chiefs jersey.

“I didn’t know anything; I thought it was just a normal day going to school,” Dyche said. “I’m feeling really good.”

The assembly was a whirlwind for Dyche. Over in a short fifteen minutes, he hardly had time to process his excitement.

“I’m happy, surprised [and] excited. I had no idea. Wow,” Dyche said. “It feels amazing. I’m glad everyone supports me and Karsyn.”

Six former chiefs players including Deron Cherry, Anthony Davis, Tim Grunhard, Ken Kremen, John McGraw and Bill Maas recognized Dyche and Aylward.

Cherry said Dyche and Aylward’s survivor stories  not only support them, encourage all other cancer patients.

“This gives us the opportunity to come out and honor them for the fight they put up and the attitude they exhibit in fighting cancer,” Cherry said. “It’s a testimony to other kids who are battling the disease.”

Although meeting the Chiefs in front of the entire student body was daunting for Aylward, it was touching to experience.

“It was a little crazy,” Aylward said. “I didn’t know that it was going to happen but it feels awesome that all my friends support me.”

Karsyn Aylward’s father Ryan Aylward said the support from the community has been beneficial to his daughter’s fight.

“We have had a lot of support. Just recently with Relay for Life, you can see how much people rally around that stuff. It’s been really good,” Ryan said. “I was very happy for Karsyn and I had a good time.”

After the assembly ended, students were encouraged to take selfies with the players, but Cherry said Dyche and Aylward were the real heroes.

“I think we’re more excited to meet them because of the challenges that they have overcome. To be able to tell their stories is so important to us. They are heroes for us,” Cherry said. “We got to play a game and yeah, it was tough playing football but these kids are fighting for their life.”

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