HOMETOWN HERO: Mattie Bunn and the Taylor County community rallies together to 'Spike Leukemia'

By  | 

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (WBKO)-- Life was supposed to be much different for Mattie Bunn.

"It's my new normal as what I say now," Bunn said.

After finishing up her volleyball career at Taylor County High School, she had plans to serve her country in the Air Force after graduation.

But in March of 2018, after a doctor trip to get blood work done, she heard some news that changed everything.

"Once we got the appointment and went to see my oncologist in Louisville," Bunn said. "He told me that day, 'You have chronic myeloid leukemia'."

At only 17-years-old, Mattie was diagnosed with leukemia and has learned to adjust to life now.

"One day I can be okay," Bunn said about her leukemia. "I'm in the first phase so the next day I can be in the second phase."

Stephen Zink was her volleyball coach for two years and once he heard the news he knew he had to do something.

"We've done the 'Dig Pink' matches for breast cancer," Zink said. "So as soon as we found out (in March) that Mattie had leukemia, I got on Google and searched around and looked through stuff and saw a 'Spike Leukemia' match, and I said 'That's perfect'."

In September, Taylor County hosted Thomas Nelson High School in a volleyball match, and it wasn't about who won or who lost. It was about something much more special.

"When they realize that life is much more important than volleyball, and that's what I try to tell them all the time," Zink said. "But once you realize it then it kind of brings everyone back together."

Mattie is now 18 and despite some questions and even some curiosities for what the future may hold, you can always guarantee that she will be smiling and she'll have her faith, family, friends and her old volleyball team standing right beside her every step of the way.

"When she found out about this, I went and saw her in the hospital and I swear when I walked in she was smiling," Zink said. "I'm like, 'How are you smiling right now? You just found out the most devastating thing that can probably happen to you and you smile'. She said, 'I'm going to beat it'.

"She's got the heart and I know she's going to beat it."

"I've never been a complainer, a negative person," Bunn said. "I have my moments. Everyone has their breakdowns I guess you could say, but I'm just not that way. I wasn't raised to be that way and it's not who I am."

For her courageousness and the community coming together for one of their own, we honor Maddie bun in the entire Taylor County community as this weeks Hughes and Coleman Hometown Heroes.

Zink says they raised a total of $3,268 for Mattie and her blood works shows that the cancer in her body has gone from 68% to .02%, which means is she can get to that .01% she is in molecular remission.