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A happy homecoming: 4-year-old returns home from last chemo treatment (w/video)

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In January, 4-year-old Kennedi Hay was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney cancer. On Friday, July 7, she celebrated her last chemotherapy treatment at Children’s Hospital and returned home to Alexandria. (Beth Leipholtz | Echo Press)2 / 5
Friends and family gathered at the Hay residence to welcome Kennedi home. (Beth Leipholtz | Echo Press)3 / 5
Kennedi says she is happy to be done with chemo and is looking forward to lots of playing. (Beth Leipholtz | Echo Press)4 / 5
The Hay family at Kennedi's homecoming celebration. (Beth Leipholtz | Echo Press)5 / 5

Since January, the Hay family has made countless trips between Alexandria and Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis.

But their trip back to Alexandria on Friday, July 7, was different. This trip marked the end of a chapter, as 4-year-old Kennedi Hay celebrated her last chemotherapy treatment.

Accompanied by an Alexandria Police Department escort, the Hay family returned home to a yard full of balloons, family and friends.

“It feels surreal,” said Bobbi, Kennedi’s mother. “It just hasn’t set in yet. She’s been a trooper.”

After Kennedi was diagnosed with clear cell sarcoma, a rare type of kidney cancer, the Hays lives changed drastically. Trevor Hay, Kennedi’s father, says the experience has taught them the importance of spending time together.

“I actually stopped and thought more about spending more time with family versus working,” he said. “That was always my clutch. It was work, work, work and we’ll play later. But things like this make you look at it a little differently.”

As they readjust to life at home, Trevor says the plan is to create new memories.

“We’re going to plan some trips, go do some stuff,” he said. “We just want to try to create some good memories and push this to the side and move on.”

As for Kennedi? She’s just ready to get back to being a kid.

“I’m excited to play,” she said.

Beth Leipholtz

Beth is a reporter at the Echo Press. She graduated from the College of Saint Benedict in May 2015 with a degree in Communication and Hispanic Studies. Journalism has always been her passion, but she also enjoys blogging and graphic design. In her spare time, she's most likely at Crossfit or at home with her boyfriend and three dogs.

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