Raley Radomske looked like a normal college freshman.
Standing next to her horse Saturday night outside McGee Park's Memorial Coliseum, the 2008 All-Around Cowgirl at the National High School Finals Rodeo donned a cowboy hat and disarming smile and spoke with exuberance.
She competed in breakaway roping moments earlier in the Ty Waybourn Memorial Rodeo. She has not, however, competed at New Mexico State University.
That's because two July seizures sidetracked her journey toward college independence and helped doctors diagnose her with a brain tumor.
"Honestly, I was (angry). I was so mad. I just felt like, How in the world could I do something so horrible to deserve this?'" Radomske said. "What I really had to learn was, I didn't do anything horrible. This is the work of the devil. That's the work of Satan."
Radomske turned to a family friend, a neurology specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. He helped her get an appointment five days after her Aug. 1 diagnosis. She endured nine hours of brain surgery on Aug. 10, during which doctors cut out 60 percent of the tumor.
The DailyTimes, by Christopher Smith, April 11, 2010