“Two years ago, if you asked me what my biggest fear was, it was getting cancer. We see it in the movies: the person shaves their head, they get sick, and they either survive or they don’t—what we don’t see in the movies is everything in between. I was a normal 19-year-old going to college with dreams of becoming a nurse. I didn’t really know my purpose in life, but I knew I wanted to help people. Then a normal blood work screening changed my life forever. It was simple, really. Apparently, one day my white blood cells decided to attack each other, just a simple mutation, and suddenly I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
I thought it was going to be like the movies, but I quickly learned it was the polar opposite: it was chemotherapy treatments that made time seem to stretch on forever; it was surgery to have a mediport put in because my veins would collapse from the treatments; it was going to college online because it was the only normal thing I could do; it was not being able to breathe because my oxygen level was 78%; it was thinking I was just cold, but actually going into septic shock; it was 8 days in ICU; it was nights not knowing if I was ever going to celebrate another birthday; it was watching my mom’s face fall every time she realized the very scary reality that she may lose her daughter to cancer.
Against these odds, I am happy to say I have entered remission, I have just celebrated my 21st birthday this past month, I am graduating next year with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, and I have found my Purpose In Life: I believe I was put here today, to not only share my story, but to prove that if you put your mind to something you can surely do it.”