Being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness like cancer has changed my life. Prior to cancer, I was a very reserved person and didn’t share how I felt about the things I experienced because so many aspects of my life have been challenging, I truly didn’t have the courage too.
When I was younger, before cancer, due to being premature at birth, weighing 1lb 15oz., my life has been an ongoing fight. From a premature birth, I had bleeds in my brain which lead to developmental delays, at least 5 major operations, in and out of hospitals, life has always been tough medically.
On July 13, 2016 I was diagnosed with an Ependymoma Anaplastic Grade III, I learned this is a rare cancer for children. There are 200 kids in the United States who are diagnosed with an Ependymoma and only 52 adolescents, I know my journey is going to be a bit bumpy but that’s okay, “I got this”. There are three grades to this brain cancer, three being the worse, I am a grade three. I know I was not dealt a great hand however it is okay because I am an excellent poker player, I will throw some cards away until I get a better hand. I will not be defeated.
Cancer changes lives, my cancer has changed my life, my brother’s, my mom’s, the rest of my family’s lives, and even many in my community’s lives. I learned it is those that truly love you, who love themselves, who will find a way to stand beside you and fight with you no matter what circumstance you are facing. Together, because of all the love and support I have received I have been given the ability, courage and strength to find my voice. It is time for me to make a positive difference. Thank you
It is my mission, my wish, and my goal to help other kids find their voice especially when times are tough and are faced with an unfortunate circumstance which they too didn’t ask for. I feel everyone has a story, especially kids, and I want kids to feel safe to share their stories. After being diagnosed with brain cancer I was fortunate enough, thanks to my Aunt Robin, to be granted a wish from the Make a Wish Foundation, what an incredible gift.
The wish I have chosen is to refurbish my high schools weight room, to encourage and help create an environment for my peers which they may feel comfortable and not feel pressure by others while they strengthen their bodies and sharpen their minds, a place to be free from the noise in their life. Every one of you helped me find my voice, you have inspired me to share me. Thank you, I will make a difference in as many lives as I can.
Once I was diagnosed with brain cancer my mom’s goal was to find me the best care possible, so I may have the best chance of survival. My mom, brother, family, friends, and most of all strangers helped us accomplish this goal. I am not out of the woods yet and will not be for some time but while I fight this fight, I will fight for other children’s voices to be heard to help transform the unfortunate circumstance they too may be faced with.
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