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PAWTUCKET â No high schooler wears the badge of courage better than the Kelly twins, former Davies Tech student-athlete Waleska and Tolman Highâs Francheska.
It was back in July that Waleska, the elder by a few minutes, suffered a stroke following a summer league basketball game. Through several confusing, worrisome months for the sisters, their family members, friends, teammates and mentors, Waleska now is back on track and enjoying things most of her peers take for granted.
She nevertheless missed out on playing and captaining her Patriotsâ hoop and softball squads, and that hurt her deeply.
As for her younger twin, Francheska spent so much time transporting Waleska to and from doctorâs appointments, revised schooling at the renowned Sargent Center in Warwick and other medical/rehabilitation visits, she became academically ineligible to represent the Tigersâ girlsâ basketball team.
She too had been named a co-captain for her superlative skills and mentoring instincts.
Waleska admitted back in December she felt guilty about her sisterâs inability to compete, especially when she couldnât, either, but both have been rewarded for their consummate caring efforts to help each other.
Last Thursday night at the West Valley Inn in West Warwick, the duet received the prestigious âMost Courageous Athleteâ Award from Rhode Island Interscholastic League officials at a banquet recognizing the stateâs best in several categories.
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