Kate Kaufling Has Died Aged 20

Kate Kaufling Has Died Aged 20

Kate Kaufling has sadly died aged 20.

Kaufling was a sophomore student at the University of Kentucky (UK). She studied at the College of Nursing and was also a vital member of the school’s dance team, UKDT, alongside her twin sister Abbey.

She joined the team in the fall of 2023, where she went on to excel and become a beloved member of the team.

Tragically, it has been announced that Kaufling has passed away.

Tributes for the dancer have been flooding in since her tragic death – with dance coach

She said, via NBC: “Kate was a joy to coach and to be around. Her smile could light up a room and she was beloved by all of her UKDT teammates.”

Associate athletics director at the University of Kentucky, Sandy Bell, said in a statement: “Kate was also an amazing student, in the college of nursing, who took her academics very seriously.

“Kate was beloved by all who knew her and she will be deeply missed.”

Kaufling’s twin sister penned on social media: “As heartbroken as I am right now, I can say I have the best guardian angel in all of heaven. I can’t wait to squeeze you forever again one day.

“You and me forever Kate.”

In a statement on a GoFundMe page set up on behalf of her family, it’s revealed that Kaufling was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in June 2023.

According to Mayo Clinic, this is ‘a kind of cancer that begins in the cells that form bones’.

“Osteosarcoma tends to happen most often in teenagers and young adults. But it also can happen in younger children and older adults,” the medical center continues.

Kaufling’s GoFundMe page explains that she was tested after she noticed a few lumps and swollen lymph nodes.

After a month of various procedures and tests, a biopsy was scheduled on one of the swollen spots on her body – which confirmed that the cancer was malignant.

Despite the heartbreaking news, the page states that Kaufling faced the diagnosis ‘with the drive and determination she faces everything’.

At the time of writing, her GoFundMe has raised over $97,000.

Tragically, Kaufling died on Sunday following her battle with cancer, just three months after finishing chemotherapy.

In her final Instagram post, she shared a video of herself ringing the bell alongside her family while celebrating the end of her chemotherapy treatments.

“2023 was by far not the year I had in mind,” she penned. “My plans of returning to UK with my best friends to dance and start nursing school had made a sharp unexpected turn.

“I had no choice but instead to spend the past 7 months undergoing an intense chemotherapy treatment full of many hospital stays. 7 months later I’m proud to say, ‘It’s over’.”

She added: “Hold on to your loved ones as long as you can. Those hugs might be the only thing making them feel safe right now.

“Embrace your friends who treat you no differently because you’re ill. Thank God every day for everything around you. Today I’m proud to share I’m officially done with chemotherapy and ready for a better chapter of my life to begin.”

Kaufling is survived by her parents, Holly and Steve Kaufling, and sister Abbey.