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Jenison student receives honor fit for a queen

Posted at 10:45 PM, Oct 04, 2015

JENISON, Mich. – A Jenison high schooler battling a rare condition was voted homecoming queen for Jenison Public Schools, an honor she says came as a huge surprise.

Kate Veldink battles ataxia-telangiectasia, and she is only one of 500 cases in the United States.

“I was shocked, I think my mouth dropped,” Kate said. “I’m not your typical, average student.” Which is exactly why her friends say she was chosen.

Maddy Maurice, one of Kate’s longtime friends, says Kate was the only one surprised by the selection.

“She brings humor to even the darkest times,” said Maddy, “and I think Kate is one of the best people out there, and she absolutely deserves homecoming queen.”

After her senior year wraps up, Kate will head to Hope College, joining her sister Abby there. She plans to enroll in the Ready for Life program, where she’ll learn daily living skills while studying early childhood education.