Our Story


Since October 2018 she has suffered from bouts of severe pancreatitis which lead to her first hospitalization at Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, NY.  Upon discharge, her condition worsened and within a month Kelsey had lost over 30 lbs. She had to have IV fluids several times a week, and was unable to eat any solid foods.  In November 2018 Kelsey was readmitted into Oishei Children’s Hospital with what the doctors had characterized as the worst case of pancreatitis they had ever seen.  Kelsey’s situation was critical as her Lipase levels were rapidly increasing with the highest level being 17,000 (normal levels should not exceed 100). Kelsey was placed on a feeding tube and stents were put into her pancreas and bile ducts.  After 6 weeks in the hospital, Kelsey was fortunately able to be discharged a week before Christmas. 

Since December 2018 Kelsey has had to have five sets of stents placed into her pancreas and bile ducts.  While under the care of both a Pediatric Gastroenterologist and Adult Gastroenterologist for the past year, Kelsey’s condition has continued to decline, and her local physicians felt there were no other options they could provide as her condition went beyond their expertise.  

After exploring various pancreatic programs throughout the United States, Kelsey was assessed by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Pancreatic Center in September 2019.  While numerous tests were run (including genetic testing), doctors still had no answers as to why Kelsey had suffered for a year with this severe pain.  The final tests that came back showed that Kelsey was not producing the pancreatic enzymes which are necessary for the pancreas to function.  

On Dec. 1st, Kelsey was admitted into Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to have a Total Pancreatectomy with Islet Auto-Transplantation (TPIAT).  Kelsey had her Pancreas, Spleen, Appendix, and Gallbladder removed.   Because of the removal of the pancreas, Kelsey will now have Type 3c Diabetes and will be insulin dependent (via an insulin pump) for the rest of her life.  While Kelsey has been discharged from the hospital, her and her mother Roxanne will remain in Cincinnati through the end of January 2020 so doctors can monitor her recovery and insulin levels.   Once cleared to return home, she will be required to return to Cincinnati every three months for the next two years for her numerous medical appointments and even possible readmission into the hospital. These visits will decrease after a couple of years every six months and then yearly for the rest of her life.    

As Kelsey’s medical needs will require close monitoring, COTA will help Kelsey and her family with her ongoing medical care, monthly medications and diabetic supplies, and ongoing travel expenses to Cincinnati.


Kelsey is currently a 14-year-old freshman at Amherst High School in Amherst NY, a suburb of Buffalo.  She has a twin brother Zachary and older brother Jacob along with her cousin Neesi who is more a sister than cousin all under one roof.   Kelsey is often described as an “Old Soul” but her mother has now dubbed her Wonder Woman as she has exceeded her physician’s expectations regarding her recent surgery and recovery. 

Kelsey’s passion is Soccer and she is a superstar goalie for the Amherst Fusion.  Her plan is to be back in action for the summer season.  She is the leader of the team where there is not one ounce of drama on a team of 22 young women.   Kelsey is a sportaholic and not a day goes by that Kelsey doesn’t talk sports and most of the time her brothers lose the arguments related to sports.  Her favorite teams are the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Sabres.

Kelsey is a Food Network junkie and spends a lot of her time in her kitchen creating desserts that are irresistible. Not a day goes by in our house that Guy Fieri isn’t on or a Baking/Cooking Championship. Let’s not forget her passion for Grey’s Anatomy, Friends, Chicago Fire and Chicago PD. 

Kelsey is also a superstar in the classroom. While she was unable to attend most of her 8th grade year last year and several months of 9th grade so far this year, she has been working hard at home with instruction provided through the Amherst school district.   While studying at home, Kelsey never missed a beat and has been able to maintain a 95 average which has kept her on the high honor roll semester after semester.  Kelsey also received the “Triple C” award last year for her Courage, Commitment and Character.  Her father Anders is a 30 year member of the Snyder Fire Department where he spent several years in various firematic and executive offices.