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Beloved University Of Kentucky Dancer Dead At 20



Photo from Kate Kaufling Instagram

The University of Kentucky is mourning the death of a member of their dance team, sophomore Kate Kaufling, who tragically passed away this week at the age of 20, less than a year after being diagnosed with bone cancer.

Just seven months ago, Kaufling shared a post to her Instagram celebrating the end of her seven month battle while undergoing chemotherapy.

Dawn Walters, the head coach of the University of Kentucky dance team, released a heartfelt statement following Kate’s passing.

“Kate was a joy to coach and to be around. Her smile could light up a room and she was beloved by all of her UKDT teammates,”

“We are all saddened by Kate’s passing. We will remember her for the tough battle she fought with osteosarcoma over the past year. She was brave until the very end and all of us can draw inspiration from the courageous battle that she fought.”

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UK Executive Associate Athletics Director, Sandy Bell released a statement following the tragic loss of Kaufling.

“In addition to being a talented dancer, Kate was also an amazing student, in the College of Nursing, who took her academics very seriously,”

“Even during her cancer treatments, Kate kept up with her studies, setting an amazing example for her teammates. Kate was beloved by all who knew her and she will be deeply missed,” 

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Kate continues to inspire with her story. Kate took to Instagram to detail her experience after receiving a devastating diagnosis. She shared how she managed to continue her schooling and emphasized the importance of family and friends.

“2023 was by far not the year I had in mind. My plans of returning to UK with my best friends to dance and start nursing school had made a sharp unexpected turn,”

“I had no choice but instead to spend the past 7 months undergoing an intense chemotherapy treatment full of many hospital stays. 7 months later I’m proud to say, ‘it’s over.'”

“Hold on to your loved ones as long as you can. Those hugs might be the only thing making them feel safe right now. Embrace your friends who treat you no differently because you’re ill,” the college student insisted.

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Rest in peace!

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