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One True Scrapper: Nashville author recalls cancer battle, stays focused on law school at OKC

Kaden Peebles autographs a copy of “One True Scrapper” at Picalily in Nashville.

By John R. Schirmer

News-Leader staff

One minute, Kaden Peebles of Nashville might be working on an assignment for one of her classes at the Oklahoma City University of School of Law.

The next, she could be busy signing her book One True Scrapper: A Memoir of Childhood Cancer, Good Eyeliner, and a Fighting Spirit.

Later, she and her sister Breanna might find themselves talking about ideas for their non-profit organization The Unseen Faithful.

Peebles, 26, has found numerous ways to stay busy.

A cancer survivor, Peebles is quick to share the story of her battle with the disease, which began when she was a junior at Nashville High School. 

She’s also quick to discuss her life as a law student. 

She continually finds ways to help others, whether they’re in Oklahoma City or Nashville.

And she will point out that her faith in God been a constant for her.

Law school

Peebles is halfway through law school. 

She became interested law while she was a student at the University of Central Arkansas.

“I was studying English as an undergraduate, then decided to add history,” she said. “Some of my classmates wanted to go to law school.”

Peebles herself eventually decided on law school, applying in Arkansas and surrounding state.

She graduated magna cum laude from UCA, where she was the history department’s Student of the Year in 2021-22.

She chose Oklahoma City University and was named a Hatton Summers Scholar.

Now, at the mid-point of law school, she’s considering her options after she graduates. “I want to litigate. Beyond that, I’m unsure. I’ll probably lean toward trial law,” she said.

Taking and passing the bar exam will be the next step. “After the bar exam, I’ll kind of wait to see what doors open. If I stay in Oklahoma, it might be in Oklahoma City.”

Peebles recently formed an or-

ganization “for first-generation law students. There are a lot of them on 

campus,” she said.

Peebles is president of her class in the School of Law. 

She works in the university’s admissions office as “an admissions ambassador. I met prospective students,” she said.

While staying busy in law school, Peebles also keeps up with her book. “We’re selling a lot,” she said of One True Scrapper. 

The book is available in Nashville at Amelia’s PIcalily.

“It’s basically my diary,” she said. She spent two years writing it and three more editing.

All the while, she was dealing with treatments, undergraduate work at UCA and then law school.

“It’s such a personal memoir,” she said. “Parts were tough to write.”

The book covers the discovery of Ewing’s Sarcoma, a bone cancer, when she was in high school. From there, it tells about leukemia when she was in college.

She shares experiences with friends who were also in treatment.

Peebles met the person who became her publisher at a writers’ conference at UCA. “I was still writing the book when she was there. She said to tell her when I finished, and we went from there.”

The publishing experience “has been fun. It’s a nice way to honor those who’ve supported me, especially in Nashville,” she said.

The book’s title came from an award which Peebles received from Nashville’s former cheerleading coach Susan Renfrow. “She gave me the True Scrapper Award. I took the title from that.”

Peebles says she’s thought about writing another book. “Maybe after law school.”

Along with her other endeavors, Peebles continues to work with The Unseen Faithful, which supports siblings of childhood cancer patients.

Peebles, Breanna and their late brother Andrew began the organization, now in its second year.

“We’ve done twice as much this year as last. We’re setting big goals and have all these ideas,” she said.

Although law school consumes most of her time – “morning and afternoon, day and night,” she says – Peebles finds time for an occasional break. 

“I go to Sonic a lot,” she said.

She visits some of the “fun restaurants in OKC,” and she likes to find “unique study spots.”

Peebles said she has made “lots of friends in school there. Law school is close. We’re kind of on our own.”

Her class has about 150 students. “It reminds me a lot of high school with three levels,” she said.

Peebles said she is “always very thankful for our community, even more so after losing Andrew.”

Her brother died in March 2022. He was a senior at Nashville High School.

“It’s been hard to be away. When I come back, I see so many amazing people,” Peebles said.

Peebles’ belief in God has been a major part of her life, from cancer to the loss of Andrew.

“My faith in God is so important. I got me through my treatments. The treatments were easy compared to losing my brother.”

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