Woman Takes US Navy Exam Between Chemo Rounds, Gets Selected as a Chief Petty Officer

November 27, 2020 Updated: January 10, 2021

This story was last updated in November 2020.

Kayla and Grayson Rogers met through country music. The two fell in love and tied the knot, but then Kayla was blindsided by a breast cancer diagnosis last year.

Harnessing immense strength and her faith in God to light the way ahead, Kayla, an E-6 in the Navy, forged ahead with chemotherapy, along with taking a grueling four-hour U.S. Navy exam in January, despite being in the middle of treatment.

Her husband, country singer Grayson, spoke to The Epoch Times via email to regale the story in its entirety.

Epoch Times Photo
Kayla Rogers on the day of her U.S. Navy exam (Courtesy of Grayson Rogers)

“When you hear the word ‘cancer,’ it doesn’t seem real,” Grayson recalled on learning the news of Kayla’s shocking diagnosis. “When we got home from the doctors, I didn’t really know what to do or say. I couldn’t sit still, so I started cleaning the entire house.”

Kayla, on the other hand, decided to call family and friends to break the news as soon as possible. “Obviously, there were tears,” said Grayson, “but we knew deep down that God was going to bring us through.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Grayson Rogers)

Kayla pushed herself to maintain her physical fitness during chemotherapy, often going to the gym the day after treatments. She was fatigued, and bone marrow shots induced an intense pain that often meant she couldn’t walk without crying, but still she remained strong and persevered through her ordeal.

“She’s a true fighter!” said Grayson.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Grayson Rogers)

Determined not to miss the test that would make her eligible for selection as a chief petty officer, Kayla turned her attention to studying, despite her ongoing treatment plan. For Kayla, a master-at-arms, the four-hour test comprised questions on law enforcement, anti-terrorism and force protection, harbor security, etc.

“She usually studies for this exam for five to six months,” Grayson marveled, adding that Kayla was still recovering from double mastectomy surgery in December and was in between her first and second rounds of chemotherapy when she had to sit through the test.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Grayson Rogers)

“Chemo brain,” or brain fog, said Grayson, threatened to cloud Kayla’s mental clarity, and she felt unsure walking into the exam. “[B]ut she wasn’t giving up on her chance to become a chief,” he recalled. “She went in there and gave it her all, praying her way through each question.”

Her immense efforts then paid off.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Grayson Rogers)

On Oct. 21, Grayson took to social media to announce that the Navy public had released the advancement results of the chief petty officer, and Kayla had been selected.

“I was on my way back from dropping my cousin off at the airport when she called me with the news,” Grayson recalled. “She said, ‘Guess who you’re talking to?’” Grayson, confused, didn’t catch on until Kayla responded, “Your wife, who is now a selected chief petty officer!”

The couple rejoiced together on the phone and shared a hug upon Grayson’s return home. “This is something she’s been wanting her whole military career,” he said. “So to see it come to fruition is just downright amazing. God is good.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Grayson Rogers)

Reflecting on the challenging time the couple has had to deal with, Grayson said it was their faith in God that really helped.

“Sometimes things happen that we don’t like, that we may be angry or upset about,” Grayson added. “[B]ut in the end, He is not surprised by any of it. Without the comfort of knowing that, I’m not sure how we would’ve made it through.”

Kayla will be pinned as a chief petty officer on Jan. 29, 2021. The couple appreciates everybody who has followed their journey. Apart from Kayla now “doing great,” she and her husband have another life-changing event on the horizon: Kayla is expecting a baby.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Grayson Rogers)

Taking to Instagram on Nov. 13 to share the happy news, Grayson posted, “The Lord works in mysterious ways. This time last year, we were gearing up for Kayla’s cancer treatment to begin. This year, we’re celebrating a miracle, coming this spring!”

Signing off, the country singer, husband, and father-to-be reflected, “What the world says is nearly impossible, God says is possible!”

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