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Noah Rubin’s “Behind The Racquet” with Allie Kiick • Tennis | 10sBalls

Editor’s note: As a junior about 9 years ago Allie wrote about the tourney she was playing in. Her writing was well received. We wish her well (LJ)

10sBalls thanks Noah Rubin for giving us permission to repost these great stories.

“June 20, 2020 — 10 days before my birthday — my mom and step dad walked through the door. My mom looks at me and says, “Al, your dad passed away this morning.” My step dad walked over to me, hugged me, and said, “Be strong for your mom and brother,” so I did just that. I struggled every day and little did I know it was just the beginning of a very long healing journey.

Fast forward to 6 months later. My grandma had a cancer that was considered to be a, “good cancer that wouldn’t kill her.” That’s what we were told by the doctors. Suddenly she was in and out of the hospital due to her calcium spiking.

I was on a trip training for Australian open qualifying and changed it around so I could come home to be with her before going. The day before coming home, I got the call that she had passed. She was my best friend. We did everything together.

3 weeks later my step dad’s mom passed away. A couple weeks after that my coach Lisa and I were at a tournament and her dad passed away. She had to leave that morning.

Summer comes and I forgot to sign up for the French open due to a miscommunication — my favorite tournament of the year. I had a full blown panic attack that put me in the emergency room. The entire trip I struggled mentally, then I started having horrible stomach issues. I went to see doctors, however, the language barrier made it incredibly difficult to get any sort of answers and or medication. Finally, I was able to see a doctor. He told me he didn’t feel anything alarming and he felt I had gastritis. It took such a toll on my body that I literally broke down when I knew I was okay. The stress I put on my body during these couple of weeks was absolutely debilitating.

I came home and suddenly started to feel this lump sensation in my throat. Every minute of every day. It was always there. A CT scan later confirmed it was globus sensation caused by anxiety — at this point, I knew I needed help. I just kept feeling like something bad was going to happen to me.

Weeks went by and I was getting better. Then, I started getting headaches. On the fifth day of having them I freaked myself out so much, thinking, “Something bad is happening to me”. My step dad ordered me an MRI with contrast just to alleviate the stress I was having. He comes in, sits down with a different look on his face; In that moment I knew something was off. My stomach sank and I immediately became pale.

“You have Acoustic Neuroma,” he said.

Acoustic Neuroma is considered a very rare, benign brain tumor. This kind of tumor can be very tricky because it is in the inner ear. Most people who discover it by the time they have symptoms lose hearing in that ear due to the damage it causes. The surgeries to remove it are very dangerous because you are working around the brain. Due to the fact I’m young, there’s a good chance I may need a surgery to get it removed before it becomes too big and (hopefully) preserve my hearing in that ear. How fast it grows is the million dollar question.

As odd as it sounds, I actually feel even more blessed knowing there are worse things in life than this. This isn’t life or death — I’m overall healthy, my family and friends are healthy, and that’s all I can ask for.

These past months have been so incredibly tough on my body, mind, and my tennis, but in the end I know it will all get better. Upon finding out the news, my coach Lisa said to me, “It’s going to be okay Al, you survived it all and keep surviving. You are a fighter and are so strong. You are a Kiick.”

That stuck with me… “I am a Kiick”…. #21″

Allie Kiick (@alliekiick)


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Also listen to Noah Rubin’s Podcast

Behind the Racquet Pod Mike Cation & Noah Rubin/Tennis Channel Podcast Network

and check out his new clothing line!