Advertisement

Holy Names swimmer Cailin Cannella steps up cancer treatment

Academy of the Holy Names’ Cailin Cannella had knee replacement surgery this week.
Academy of the Holy Names’ Cailin Cannella had knee replacement surgery this week.
Published Nov. 12, 2016

Academy of the Holy Names swimmer Cailin Cannella had full knee replacement surgery earlier this week to help combat cancer.

Cannella, a seventh-grader, is battling osteosarcoma, a bone cancer that usually affects children and often is found around the knee. She was diagnosed Sept. 13 and had gone through two rounds of chemotherapy.

The treatment was not working. Cannella's knee hurt so much it was hard to walk. The cancer spread to her lungs. That is why she moved up her surgery to this week instead of next month.

"The surgery went well," said Holy Names coach Bill Shaffer, who visited Cannella in the hospital Wednesday and Thursday. "She is tired but in good spirits."

Cannella has to go through another, more aggressive round of chemo Nov. 18 because of the cancer that spread to her lungs.

AHN's swim team competes at the Class 2A state meet today. Cannella hoped to be there to cheer on her teammates. Instead the swimmers lifted her spirits by putting her initials on a swim cap that Shaffer presented to Cannella in the hospital.

The team will continue to wear yellow bracelets. Their T-shirts for the state meet also have the words "Cailin Strong" on the back.

"Hopefully, we can do well at the state meet and win a trophy that we can bring back to Cailin," Shaffer said.

Contact Bob Putnam at bputnam@tampabay.com. Follow @BobbyHomeTeam.