Kyle and Stormi Wagley.
In March, Maggie contacted me to take dance lessons and challenged herself by taking lessons in rumba, waltz, east coast swing, cha cha, salsa, and tango simultaneously.
In May, despite being legally blind in one eye, Maggie finished the Tour de Natchez Trace, a four-day, 444 mile bike ride to raise money for REBOOT Combat Recovery which offers a healing process for veterans suffering with PTSD.
I had planned to write about Maggie’s amazing and inspirational ability to accept challenges. That changed, however, when she returned from the “Trace” and shared the Extraordinary Challenges of Kyle and Stormi Wagley.
Kyle and Stormi were high school sweethearts who, after college, married and began their life together. By 2011, Kyle was serving as a U.S. Army CWO3 Apache helicopter pilot, and Stormi was a Tennessee Titans Cheerleader.
In late 2014, Kyle and Stormi celebrated the birth of their daughter, Kensi. This was just a few months after Kyle returned from his second tour in Afghanistan and shortly after being diagnosed with stage four stomach cancer.
Kyle and Stormi decided on an aggressive treatment regimen, including surgery on his stomach and esophagus. Kyle’s doctor said this was one of the most extensive and challenging surgeries he had ever performed.
After surgery, Kyle began 14 weeks of chemotherapy. In May, 2015, Kyle received the news that his “scan was clear.” In August, 2015, Kyle finished his last round of chemo, and in November, he received a clean bill of health.
By May, 2016, Kyle’s strength returned so that he could ride in the Trace. Despite being less than one year from undergoing cancer treatment, Kyle completed this physically demanding ride with flying colors.
In August; however, Kyle’s cancer returned, and Kyle had his final flight as an Apache pilot. Kyle and Stormi faced this challenge with a renewed sense of hope and faith.
On March 18, 2017, despite his valiant fight with a horrific foe, Kyle lost his final battle.
Kyle: The challenges you faced in life were completely arbitrary, and the weight of pain and suffering were often more than you could carry. Although your life was far too short, it was never momentary, and the legacy you left with us, is what made you Extraordinary.