Katy Millett, this week’s Herald Super Kid, attends AIM High School and plans to become an athletic trainer. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

Katy Millett, this week’s Herald Super Kid, attends AIM High School and plans to become an athletic trainer. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

Snohomish teen says sports helped overcome chronic migraines

Kate Millett loves soccer and is planning on a career in sports medicine.

By Kari Bray

Herald writer

SNOHOMISH — Kate Millett, 17, is a senior who splits her time between AIM and Glacier Peak high schools. Her love of exercise has helped her overcome chronic migraines as she works toward a career in sports medicine.

Question: What classes are you taking?

Answer: At AIM I’m taking the majority of my core classes. I’ve got government, I’ve got an art class, math class. At Glacier Peak, I’m taking molecular biology and chemistry. I’m also taking Spanish online.

Q: I take it you like science?

A: I do. It’s always been my favorite, for sure. Other than the sports medicine class, science has always been the best.

Q: I understand you had to overcome some medical complications with migraines?

A: Almost three years ago, I was diagnosed with chronic acute migraines. I was getting a migraine every day, along with daily headaches and all of the side effects that came with that. Nausea, blurry vision. I kind of experienced all of it. Light sensitivity, sound sensitivity.

Q: How did you overcome that and keep up with school and everything else?

A: I transferred to AIM. I was originally a full-time student at GP. Then sophomore year, it just wasn’t possible. I work better at night. We went through the process of all the pain clinics, different types of medications, with Children’s Hospital in Seattle. I finally ended up with Botox treatment, actually. It’s the only thing that’s helped. I’m down to maybe a migraine a month. I have special rose-colored glasses for light sensitivity. But I got off medications. Also, I work out a ton. That’s the one thing I never stopped doing.

Q: So you’re pretty athletic?

A: Very. I’m a soccer player. I also lift competitively. And I dabble in jiu-jitsu in a gym I go to. I wish I could do more, but there are only 24 hours in a day.

Q: You said you lift competitively. Can you tell me about that?

A: Crazy Monkey USA is a gym in Everett that we found. There’s a boxing and jiu-jitsu side of it, and then there’s kettlebell and yoga. I started getting into kettlebell to supplement my soccer training. I’ve competed three times now, coming home with rank 1 awards. Right now, I lift generally with 12 kg (kilograms). I started out with 8 (kg) and it’s been about two years now. My next competition’s Dec. 1.

Q: But soccer’s your main thing.

A: Soccer’s my main thing. I play for the Washington Rush right now. I’m a keeper. I’ve always been a keeper. I love the intensity of that position, just the aspect of being able to see all the field, what’s going on, and then have that split-second reaction.

Q: What are some other activities you do?

A: I’m an intern at Archbishop Murphy High School. I kind of act as the assistant athletic trainer. I’ve gotten, since I started in August, around 150 to 175 hours of clinical experience.

Q: Are you hoping to turn that into a career?

A: Definitely. I love working with athletes. I knew I wanted to go into medicine. I took a sports medicine class sophomore year and found what I love. If someone gets injured, I want to be there from start to finish. It’s the greatest feeling, seeing them their first game back after an ACL injury or something. And I’m definitely a people person. The athletes have the same mentality as me. You’re working hard. You’re having fun. I want to be a part of that.

Q: Have you picked a college?

A: I’ve been looking at Pacific Lutheran University and George Fox right now. They’re both schools I could potentially play soccer at, and they have great kinesiology and exercise science programs, which is what I would major in.

Q: What’s been the most fun for you in high school?

A: Playing sports. I played soccer at Glacier Peak for two years. I didn’t this year because of my work at Murphy. But I love all the athletes. Just getting new ideas on the game, or just talking with the girls.

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