Thursday, September 6, 2012

Where to Begin

So, this is try number 3 tonight for what to write. There is so much I could say about childhood cancer, it's importance, it's injustice, the pain it causes, and the need for a cure. But I've realized I need to start at the beginning.
When I was in 6th grade, I was at a special school, in a class of 28, that would move through 7th and 8th grade together. There were 2 main teachers at the middle school, neither of whom I knew, yet. In May of 2006, a friend told me that the daughter of the math and science teacher had passed away at age 7 due to complications from childhood cancer. This was my first exposure to childhood cancer. We wanted to organize a walk in memory of her, and form a group at our school to promote cancer awareness. This didn't work out, and childhood cancer fell to the back of my mind as I started middle school.
But cancer didn't stay there. In November 2006, my younger brother's eye began to bulge outwards. After visiting specialists, having scans and surgury to remove what was thought to be mucus, the tests came back that my brother had cancer, Aveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma, in his sinus.
After a year of treatment, my brother was declared in remission. Now, almost 5 years later, he remains cancer free, and a normal teenage boy.
After seeing what my brother, and other children I've met, have been through as a result of cancer, I am ready to fight. I plan to go into pediatric oncology, both clinically and in research. Currently, as a biomedical engineering student, I have oppourtunities to work in labs studying cancer, as well as to volunteer my time helping children with cancer at the local hospital.
This time, childhood cancer will not be slipping to the back of my mind, and I will not let it out of sight. Join the fight with me, and stand strong against cancer. Together, we can triumph.
I'll end with a poem (not mine):

Cancer is so limited.
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot destroy peace.
It cannot kill friendships.
It cannot suppress memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot invade the soul.
It cannot steal eternal life.
It cannot conquer the spirit.
Cancer is so limited.
-author unknown

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