LIMA — Kayla Mumaw wanted to be involved in athletics, especially volleyball, but health issues always kept her sidelined. But instead of dwelling on something over which she had no control, the Bath High School and Apollo Career Center senior found another way to leave her mark on Wildcat athletics. She's done it the past two years on the football field. “I like being involved with the guys and getting to know them,” she said of her job as student athletic trainer for Bath's football team.The team's trainer asked Kayla if she was interested after a class assignment tipped him off that she wanted to one day work in the medical field. She's completed an athletic training class offered at Bath.In second grade, Kayla was diagnosed with HSP, an auto-immune disease. She has been in remission since third grade and medication keeps it under control. Yet, she is unable to play sports.“I would definitely be involved with sports if I could be. This is a way for me to be involved in some way,” she said of being an athletic trainer.Kayla has done her share of taping ankles and fingers and tending to minor cuts and scrapes during practice and games. She's even seen a couple of broken bones.“It was pretty nasty,” she said of one broken arm. “But I love that kind of stuff. It is interesting. I am not squeamish at all.”Kayla is enrolled in Apollo's Health Careers program. She came over to get a head start on a career in medicine. Having plenty of credits, Kayla will graduate this year, a year earlier. She started taking postsecondary classes at Rhodes State College as a freshman. She'll have 27 credits, including a nurses assistant class, when she graduates this spring. She is ready to be done with high school.“It is holding me back,” she said. “I am already in college and I have the credits I need. I am really ready to move on with my life.”Later this month, Kayla will compete in sports medicine through Health Occupations Students of America. She already made it through one round, and will now to given a real medical scenario to deal with at the Columbus competition. The top three students advance to nationals. Kayla will head to the University of Findlay next year to study nuclear medicine technology. She'll then work on a master's degree to become a physicians assistant, with plans to work in a family practice, and maybe also as a high school sports trainer. She decided her career path long ago.“After I got HSP,” she said. “I really wanted to help other people.”You can comment on this story at www.limaohio.com.
Youth Profile: Student athletic trainer headed to health career