Hero Madison Gayheart

This is our latest Hero, as she is one of the 2018 Herbies Heroes Scholarship winners and her winning essay is below.

Madison Gayheart

Madison Gayheart

Cancer, the disease caused by uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in one or more areas of the body. Cancer is not only physically painful for the person experiencing the cancer themselves, but definitely for the family and friends who feel hopeless and the dealing with heartache of watching a loved one suffer. I know from experience because I have been a family member, watching my grandmother get worse and worse each and everyday.

Five years ago I found out my grandmother had lung cancer. At the time I really did not understand what it actually meant for someone I love to have cancer. It started with seeing marking all over her for radiation. They gave her about a year and a half to live so we made a list together of all the things we wanted to do before she died. Soon after we made the list she found out her cancer had spread to her throat. I would go to her house on the weekends and I remember every weekend she got weaker and more sick and the more she did not look like my grandma. I remember her as a very happy person who liked to ride horses and go shopping and fishing. So for me to see her in a state where she could not get out of bed was really hard for me as a kid to see her go through so much pain that it literally changed her.

That same year I moved to Hawaii and shortly after we moved to Orange Park, Florida. I felt so guilty for not being there with my grandma through her cancer. Soon after I moved, she found out she had brain tumors. My grandmother raised me; she was my role model, my go to, my everything and to lose your best friend to disease that causes long and painful death really changes you. On May 5th, 2015 I lost my everything. She passed away at 11:30 am. This was one of the hardest days of my life and it has been a rocky road ever since. I have not had the easiest life since she has been gone. But I was raised well by her and I attempt to honor her in all my life decisions. The impact of cancer in my life has influenced me in making my career choice.

As a senior in high school, my plan is to become a nurse. An oncology nurse to be exact. I plan on helping the individual who has cancer live the most comfortable they can while they have time, and help their families prepare for what is to come. I presently work at part time job at Panera Bread to save money for college. The $500 dollar scholarship would be a tremendous help and would be going toward my my tuition to be Registered Nurse.

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