On Jan. 25, 2018, Round Rock freshman Rylie York’s life as a normal 18-year-old girl was turned upside down. York was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, cancer that affects the part of the lymphatic system, during her senior year of high school.
“I was scared out of my mind to imagine losing my hair, stopping school in the middle of senior year, being able to come to Baylor, and chemotherapy,” said York.
York chronicled her medical journey through frequently writing blog updates on her website, Rylie’s Next Chapter. Through this online platform York has touched many lives, as she aims to spread her message of faith through her blog posts. During her difficult time of cancer treatment, York found her faith as a root through her cancer journey. York has written 23 blog posts in total.
“Ultimately, my reason for starting my blog, and the reason I feel so passionate about sharing my story is the unwavering sense of peace and support I felt from the Lord just hours after I found out I had cancer,” said York.
In May 2018, York was declared cancer free and finished her final round of radiation. On Aug. 12, just days before York moved to Waco to start her freshman year, doctors found a cancerous lymph node. She was once again diagnosed with Hodgkin’s. York began chemotherapy during the second week of classes and traveled to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston on Fridays of the 2018 fall semester.
Jillian Dunbar, a Houston freshman, is one of York’s closest friends at Baylor and has been moved by York’s perseverance.
“I honestly have no idea how she managed chemotherapy, adjusting to college life, and taking college courses,” said Dunbar. “The only explanation is that she is dedicated to everything she does, she loves life, and firmly relies on the The Lord for strength.”
“A seed was planted the first day I stepped foot onto Baylor University’s campus as a college freshman. Cancer seems like nothing when I stop and take a moment on a daily basis to thank god that I am even standing on Baylor soil. Every day that I get walk in the shadow of Pat Neff is a day that brings praise to my god. Every day that I get to attend class is a day that brings praise to my god. Every day that I wake up to the sun or rain outside my dorm window is a day that brings praise to my god,” wrote York in her latest post, “Cancer and College,” on Rylie’s Next Chapter.
Not only has York’s faith played a major role in her journey, but also her time at Baylor has been a driving force in her courage.
“Baylor has been my light through all of these trials and I could not be happier to be here on campus around individuals that love and support me,” said York.
York was announced cancer free once again in mid-October and then finished her chemotherapy through the end of November. She spent all of her Christmas break in Houston to finish radiation, and then came back to Baylor for Panhellenic’s formal recruitment.