In 2006 when I was 17, I was first diagnosed with aplastic anemia. At the time, I didn't really feel sick until the treatments started. I would soon get used to taking handfuls of pills at a time, being constantly poked and prodded with needles, forgetting what a good nights sleep was like since the nurses would wake me up every few hours to record my vitals, and getting used to the sights, sounds, and smells of hospitals.
I was one of the lucky ones though, the best chance for a cure was a bone marrow transplant and thankfully my older sister, Shannon, was a perfect match. In April 2006 I received my sister's bone marrow and the nurses called that my second birthday. After some time the transplant worked and I began to recover.
After one of the many frequent visits to the clinic, we got a call from the doctors with that life-changing message, "We've found Cancer." The doctors found non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) all throughout my body, so back to the hospital we go. The doctors gave me some more of my sister's T-cell's which slowly fixed everything.
I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for the doctors at UCSF, my family, and my friends that gave me a reason to keep fighting. You get only one chance at life and I decided my story wasn't going to end in a hospital bed. Now that I have a second chance I want to walk and fight for anyone else stuck in a hospital bed so they can have a chance at a normal life.