It's an average day, and as Katie Collier answers her alarm, she's not just worried about normal high school matters like tests, her social life or getting to class on time.
That's because this morning she's headed to chemotherapy.
And, as her peers are shuffling off to Seattle Christian High School, she's beginning another round of treatment at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
After treatment, Collier's day defies normal logic. She'll join her friends at school, then go home to tackle homework and head to practice in the evening—balancing the normal stresses of high school life and the grueling side effects of chemotherapy with the grace of someone twice her age.
The 18-year-old is nearing the end of her six-month-long battle with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), but she's far more than a cancer patient. At 6'3", she's a McDonald's All-American forward and one of the best female players in the country. Her talents have earned her a basketball scholarship to the University of Washington in the fall.
Plenty of stories are told about people who succeed before the storm or overcome adversity afterward, but Katie's tale is unique. She's thriving while in the midst of the storm, and that's Why We Watch.
Director/Producer Amir Ebrahimi
DP Patrick Wright
Editor Mike Kattenburg
Photo credit David Laudan
Special thanks to:
The Collier Family
Seattle Cancer Care
Dr. Elihu H Estey
Ronald McDonald House
The Chicago Bulls Media Department
Onalaska High School