Alyssa Cavanaugh headed home

Senior outside hitter Alyssa Cavanaugh hits the ball during WKU’s game against LA Tech Sept. 29 at Diddle Arena. Cavanaugh earned her fifth career C-USA Offensive Player of the Week award on Monday after WKU extended its 30th straight conference win last week.

Lily Burris

Former WKU volleyball star Alyssa Cavanaugh is finally headed home after being treated for Leukemia.

Leslie Cavanaugh, Alyssa’s mother, made the announcement via Twitter on Friday. The tweet included a list of things that had happened before they left including “goodbye hugs from medical staff.”

{{tncms-inline account=”Leslie Cavanaugh” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Lab work✔️ reduce meds ✔️ bone marrow biopsy all clear✔️ goodbye hugs from medical staff✔️ … can only mean one thing… IT’S TIME TO GO HOME!!!! <a href="">@cavanaugh7</a> <a href=""></a></p>— Leslie Cavanaugh (@lcavanaugh922) <a href="">May 31, 2019</a></blockquote>” id=”″ type=”twitter”}}

Cavanaugh announced she was diagnosed with Leukemia in September 2018 via Twitter. After her announcement, she received support from many members of the WKU community and the national volleyball community.

{{tncms-inline account=”NCAA” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Former student-athlete <a href="">@cavanaugh7</a> led <a href="">@WKUVolleyball</a> to 123 wins during her illustrious time on campus.Now, the entire <a href="">@NCAAVolleyball</a> community stands behind her as she aims for No. 124— a victory over cancer: <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p>— NCAA (@NCAA) <a href="">September 10, 2018</a></blockquote>” id=”″ type=”twitter”}}

{{tncms-inline account=”NCAA Volleyball” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The volleyball community has rallied around former <a href="">@WKUVolleyball</a> All-American <a href="">@cavanaugh7</a> with love and support following her leukemia diagnosis. <a href="">#NCAAVB</a><a href=""></a></p>— NCAA Volleyball (@NCAAVolleyball) <a href="">September 9, 2018</a></blockquote>” id=”″ type=”twitter”}}

{{tncms-inline account=”NCAA Volleyball” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Incredibly moving gesture by <a href="">@NIUVOLLEYBALL</a> to wear orange ribbons – the color associated with Alyssa Cavanaugh's type of Leukemia – in their match against <a href="">@WKUVolleyball</a>, Alyssa's former team! <a href="">#NCAAVB</a> <a href="">#Win124</a> <a href=""></a></p>— NCAA Volleyball (@NCAAVolleyball) <a href="">September 16, 2018</a></blockquote>” id=”″ type=”twitter”}}

{{tncms-inline account=”MT Volleyball” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The Blue Raiders showed their support for <a href="">@cavanaugh7</a> and her fight against cancer with orange leukemia ribbons on their shoes in tonight’s match versus WKU. Continue to fight strong Alyssa! 💕<a href="">#BlueRaiders</a> <a href="">#TheCUSAWay</a> <a href=""></a></p>— MT Volleyball (@MT_Volleyball) <a href="">September 22, 2018</a></blockquote>” id=”″ type=”twitter”}}

{{tncms-inline account=”Purdue Volleyball” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">🚨ATTENTION 🚨Our fight this weekend goes beyond the court as we team up with Be the Match to help <a href="">@cavanaugh7</a> find a bone marrow donor. Friday's match will feature a registry drive in hopes of finding Alyssa’s match. To join:📲 Cure36 to 61474 💻<a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p>— Purdue Volleyball (@PurdueVB) <a href="">November 14, 2018</a></blockquote>” id=”″ type=”twitter”}}

WKU hosted a bone marrow donor registry event in November 2018 in order to find a donor for Cavanaugh. This event gave those who wanted to help an opportunity to do what they could.

In January 2019, it was announced via Twitter by Cavanaugh’s mother Leslie that a donor had been found. Cavanaugh’s father, Eric, was an ideal donor.

{{tncms-inline account=”Leslie Cavanaugh” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">A little unprepared for answering questions regarding Alyssa’s donor. 100% positive her dad wasn’t expecting this. getting tons of texts, hope this sheds some light on what transpired <a href="">#win124</a> <a href="">#ibelieveinalyssacavanaugh</a> <a href=""></a></p>— Leslie Cavanaugh (@lcavanaugh922) <a href="">January 15, 2019</a></blockquote>” id=”″ type=”twitter”}}

Cavanaugh went into remission late in January, and she had her bone marrow transplant on Feb. 19.

{{tncms-inline account=”Alyssa Cavanaugh” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT DAY😋</p>— Alyssa Cavanaugh (@cavanaugh7) <a href="">February 19, 2019</a></blockquote>” id=”″ type=”twitter”}}

While at WKU, Cavanaugh was named the Conference USA Freshman of the Year in 2014, a First-Team All-Conference member in 2015, the C-USA Player of the Year in 2016 and the C-USA Female Athlete of the Year in 2017. The Lady Toppers won the C-USA Tournament in each of her four seasons on the Hill.

News reporter Lily Burris can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @lily_burris.