LCU cheerleader calls finding brain tumor ‘blessing in disguise’

LCU cheerleader calls finding brain tumor ‘blessing in disguise’
LCU Cheerleader Kelsi Rodriguez, who will undergo brain surgery to remove a tumor.

UPDATE: Kelsi Rodriguez underwent surgery Monday, Dec, 8 to remove her tumor. According to a message, her mother Cassandra Rodriguez said Kelsi did well and that they would know the full pathology results from the tumor within a few days.

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A blessing in disguise. That’s what an LCU Cheerleader says after an accident uncovered an unknown medical condition.

Kelsi Rodriguez, a freshman on the team, tried to catch a falling teammate and suffered a concussion during a practice earlier this semester.

Two weeks later, she hit her head again. "The dorm rooms are so tiny. She ran into her closet door with the front of the head,” said Kelsi’s mother Cassandra Rodriguez. “She called that night and said that she had a really bad headache and felt nauseous. That’s when I said that we better get you checked out. We took her to a small ER place. They did a CT scan and that’s when they found the cyst which was ping-pong ball sized. So, it’s big.”

Kelsi had to have an MRI and see a neurosurgeon. “That’s when he showed us the cyst, which is viable. He pointed to another area and said ‘This is my concern, there is a brain tumor.’”

Kelsi underwent surgery Monday to remove the tumor. “It’s been a blessing disguise," Kelsi said of her discovery. "Cheer is something that I’ve loved, and it is helping me in the long run, because without that concussion I would have never — it would have gone unnoticed.”

Once the tumor is removed, it will be tested to see if its benign.

LCU released a statement about Kelsi on December 6 saying:

“As word of Kelsi’s condition began to spread across campus, various student groups and the campus as a whole prayed for her and showed their support to Kelsi. I know that her peers on the cheer squad have also been very supportive.  We will continue to pray for her as she approaches surgery, and we will continue to pray for and support her following her surgery.” 
Randal Dement, Vice President of Student Affairs, Lubbock Christian University

A go fund me has been set up to help the family pay for what insurance will not cover. Click here to donate.


A previous version of this story claimed Kelsi was not checked out following her original concussion, something LCU says was not true:

“Adhering to university protocol, Kelsi was pulled from the the routine immediately.  She saw the trainer and the university’s on-campus doctor the morning after practice.”   Kelsi was seeing trainers and failing impact tests. The second time she got hit in the head was in her dorm room, which was not related to her official cheerleading capacity.
Shannon Sudduth, LCU Media Relations

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