This is our latest Hero, as he is the 2016 Herbies Heroes Scholarship winner and his winning essay is below.
During my sophomore year at Orange Park High School I was already planning my future. Thinking ahead to college, planning to become a medical doctor, and even future car and house goals were all occurring in my head. However, on a rainy November 27th, 2013 my family and I were called into the doctor’s office. Results from a just taken biopsy were in. The results were supposed to take a week or two to come-in; we got that call three days after the biopsy. The nurse and physician’s assistant walked into the room and stated, “We are waiting on the doctor.” That is when I knew this situation was real. The moment the doctor stepped in he said, “I’m very sorry, but your child has cancer.”
From that point on we all lived in a daze. I began treatment, which included a radiation treatment before my first surgery, and then I had four more surgeries after the initial one. Cancer destroyed my body but I am still here! However, it is not easy. Normal life abilities, school, and overall fun times have been affected. Cancer took from me body parts and has left me hurting. Cancer has affected how I now comprehend school work. Due to cancer I am extra cautious at living my life. I am scared to live my life because of what did, and what could now happen. What cancer cannot do though is cripple the goals that I see myself achieving in the near distant future!!
A cancer patient can develop after treatment side effects from the treatment that saved their very life. I don’t take tests the same nor can I concentrate as hard as I used to on assignments. With this being said I find ways to improve how I have to learn. Cancer patients deserve to be treated as any other person and should not be frowned upon when they mess something up. We are in pain, regret, and depression on a normal basis.
My dream is to become a Pediatric Gastroenterologist to hopefully help prevent the development of children’s esophageal, stomach, colon, and rectal cancers. I want to work for the Central Intelligence Agency, The President of the United States, and at the hospital that saved my life. In some ways a cancer patients goals are more developed than others in that we have seen our lives flash before our eyes and yet we are still here to fight. A patient like myself is now empowered to change the lives of others because of what I have been through. I want to do my doctoral thesis on the affect cancer has on the appendix and research all of the possible ways appendicitis could occur while undergoing treatment as I and a friend went through this experience while both undergoing cancer treatment protocols.
In conclusion, I just want to state that, Yes cancer is hard on anyone whether a child, adult, or those who know the patient but experiencing this trauma in high school while being so involved is what I truly believe kept me living. Any opportunity that I could receive would be more than what I imagined. I would be honored to be the recipient of the Herbie’s Heroes scholarship of 2016. I am delighted that my future career is only an education opportunity away; I just hope I get the chance to start my higher education goals without the burden of higher education costs.