OTTAWA — Ottawa-Glandorf High School 2011 graduate Katie Laudick is 26 years old and has already had 14 rounds of chemotherapy and seven surgeries to help treat her blood cancer she was diagnosed with two years ago.
Katie is the daughter of Joe and Ann Laudick who live in Ottawa. Ann has been the administrative assistant at O-G High School for the past 22 years.
Katie is a seventh grade math teacher at Finland Middle School, Columbus, serving in her second year. She graduated from University of Findlay in 2015 with a bachelor’s of science in education degree. She student taught at Ottawa Elementary School and some of the kids she taught are seniors at O-G high school now.
When she attended O-G High School she was active in selling tickets at games and tournaments and helped after she graduated.
Students at Ottawa-Glandorf High School have come together to help raise funds for Katie to help with her medical expenses. She is scheduled to have a surgery Monday at The James Cancer Hospital in Columbus to treat a lesion that was recently discovered on her skull.
She has crutches that help her get around and she has taught this school year up until a week ago while she is preparing for her surgery and her mother has taken time off to care for her daughter. The cancer caused Katie to take the 2017-2018 school year off from teaching.
Students at Ottawa-Glandorf High School sold T-shirts that will be worn at Friday’s boys basketball game against Wapakoneta in support of Katie.
The gold T-shirts read “Titans Fight Together” on the front and “Laudick Strong” on the back.
Fundraisers have been planned for the game that the community can participate in including 50/50 drawings. Three of the high school’s basketball players have agreed to shave their heads if if the student body raises $2,000.
Two years ago Katie was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone cancer found in the pelvis.
“I had groin and hip pain and went to the doctor and after a CT scan was done doctors saw a mass in my pelvis,” Katie said.
She had chemotherapy and surgeries and a bad infection developed after her surgery when the left half of her pelvis was removed to be able to remove the sarcoma.
Katie said her family, O-G High School students and staff and her former classmates and current students and staff have been a great support system.
”I have learned that sometimes it is OK to let people help you and you know these people will help you get through it,” Katie said. “People in the community help one another and it’s the best place you could ever call home.”
Katie’s mother Ann said her daughter is great with kids and having community support is humbling, overwhelming and not a surprise.
“Her interaction with kids of all ages is amazing, Her students admire her so much,” Ann said. Katie’s parents are both O-G graduates, with Ann graduating in 1978 and Joe graduating in 1976.
Tyson McGlaughlin, O-G high school athletic director, said Ann always welcomes everyone with a smile and has put the needs of her family before her own.
“Hopefully by coming together and raising some money we can alleviate some of the stress during this process and show Katie how much she has inspired all of us during her fight,” McGlaughlin said.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.