Honored Kid

Kaela A. Bechtold

Age 23
Kaela A. Bechtold Kid Photo


Clayton, NC, US


Brain or spinal cord tumor

Date of Diagnosis

December 2011


In remission

Treated At

Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center

Change your kid's logo

My Story

Kaela is a smart, beautiful, courageous young girl. She loves music and art. She plays the clarinet in the school band and is currently taking guitar lessons. She loves school, friends, and going to our church’s youth group activities. Most of all she enjoys serving others. She went on a mission trip this past summer and is looking forward to participating this year. In late Spring of 2011, Kaela started to favor her right hand more than usual. Over the course of this past summer she stopped using her left hand unless she was told to. Even then, she struggled. She seemed to have lost some strength. As the summer progressed, we noticed her walk appeared awkward. By September, she had more of a limp, but she did not always limp. Kaela is 12 and is quickly developing into a young lady. Some of the signals were assumed to be hormones or a growth spurt. In other words, it seemed perhaps...normal. Yet we were very concerned. We picked up on a change in her smile. She smiled deeper on the right side of her face. She struggled with fine motor skills like buttoning a shirt or coat. We made an appointment with the Pediatrician immediately. We visited the pediatrician in early November. After seeing Kaela, the pediatrician referred us to a neurologist. We visited with one on a Thursday. Once the neurologist evaluated Kaela, he scheduled us for an MRI the following day. We had the 1st set of many MRI's done. Once the MRI was complete, the neurologist met with us. He showed us the results. The images showed a mass in her brain. The mass appeared to be pressing against her brain stem. This was the cause of Kaela's symptoms. The news was shocking. Kaela was there with us. All we can say is she is one brave little girl. We should say big girl. The neurologist informed us there was a pediatric neurosurgeon in the building. He had spoken with the doctor and the doctor agreed to see us. This could be considered a coincidence. We know it was one of God's many blessings. The neurosurgeon met with us and provided some information and guidance. He let us know that the mass was likely a tumor and the next step would be a biopsy. We had the biopsy done in early December. We received the results of the biopsy approximately one week later. The mass is a Juvenile Pilocytic Astrocytoma. We proceeded with surgery in early January 2012. The surgeon was able to remove approximately half of the tumor. Kaela is now undergoing chemotherapy treatments. She will undergo treatment for 10 months. Kaela is an exceptional girl. She does not seem phased by the challenges she has faced and continues to face. She presses on with an enthusiasm for life. I love her more than can be expressed or put into words.

The Childhood Cancer Ripple Effect

Who's Honoring Me

Help Give Kids a Lifetime

Infants, children, teens and young adults are depending on us to find cures for childhood cancers — and to give survivors long and healthy lives.

Support lifesaving childhood cancer research today.

Photo submission policy

Please read the photo submission policy and accept below.

By submitting a photograph of yourself on www.StBaldricks.org, you agree to the following terms and conditions for submission of your photograph:

We strongly encourage all users to submit a before and after photo, so that donors and fellow participants can easily recognize and relate to one another.

Any photo containing cartoons, comics, celebrities, nudity, pornography, sexually explicit images or any copyrighted image (unless you own the copyright) is not permitted. This is because photos of celebrities and cartoon or comic images are generally copyrighted by the owner.

Uploading images of other people without their permission is also prohibited.

This photo submission policy applies to StBaldricks.org users. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation reserves the right to review all photos and to remove any photo for any reason at our sole discretion. If you see a photo on StBaldricks.org that you believe does not conform to this policy, email to WebQuestions@StBaldricks.org