CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Hornets dance team, the Honey Bees, is not only known for the dance moves they bring during games but also the positive impact they have on the Charlotte community. However, when one member of the team was recently diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, she had no idea just how impactful sharing her fight would be not just for others, but for herself.
Kelsea Roussell has loved to entertain since she was a child. Her passion for bringing joy and positivity to others through her gift of entertaining is what eventually led her to try out for the Honey Bees in 2019.
Although her rookie season was cut short due to COVID-19, she was looking forward to returning in 2020. But at just 23 years old, Kelsea received a phone call that changed her life in an instant.
“Me and my fiancé were driving down the road in my jeep having fun, having a good day and my oncologist called me and was like I have some really sensitive news if you want to wait to come in. We were like of course not tell me right now,” Roussell said. “He was like you know I'm really sorry you have Stage 2A Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I remember just crying.”
Kelsea could have turned her focus solely on chemo treatments and how cancer was affecting her body. Instead, she refused to let it take away her gift of dance and during treatment auditioned to be a part of the Honey Bees once again.
“This would be such a great way for me to inspire others to keep pushing and you can do anything no matter what you're going through," Roussell explained. "I remember Coach B . . . my favorite quote from her is, 'Sometimes we need dance more than it needs us.' She knew how devasting this moment was for me and then to take dance. You're taking away almost, a lot of my life."
Kelsea has shared her journey of battling cancer on social media from her first chemo treatment to her last in hopes of inspiring others, but the outpouring of support from the community has touched her heart.
“A lot of people say I'm inspiring them, but I tell my coach, my fiancé, my family, my fiancé’s mom - everyone really is inspiring me too because they are uplifting me and helping me push myself to get through this and fight," Roussell said. "I didn't fight this by myself."