This is our latest Hero, as she is one of the 2019 Herbies Heroes Scholarship winners and her winning essay is below.
Growing up, I was always told that laughter was the best medicine. This very quote I can very much attest to. A couple of years ago, my stepmother was diagnosed with breast cancer. This was not new to me but it was just as devastating seeing as though. Cancer was a huge difficulty within my family. Seeing someone who I could call my mother feeling depressed took a toll on me and I knew I wanted to see her at her best. After discovering the news, I began visiting my dad and stepmother as much as I could. While visiting, I would do crazy dances, sing horribly on purpose, and tell funny jokes and stories to keep a smile on my stepmom’s face. I knew that emotionally she was hurting and I wanted to do all I can to keep her smiling and continue fighting.
A memory I believe was the funniest of all was lip syncing a song for my stepmom with a wig on. She has been on her chemotherapy and lost all her hair. During this time, she began to become self-conscious of herself and wore hoods and wigs all the time. I knew she hated losing her hair and having to wear the uncomfortable wigs. As she was watching TV, I strolled in with a blanket wrapped around me as if it were a dress, some bright red lipstick, and one of her wigs while the music began to play. I cannot even explain the look on her face as she smiled as wide as she possibly could. As I danced and sang for her she had tears brimming on her eyes from laughing so hard. I know humor can’t heal people, but I know it makes the journey of whatever they are going through feel better. My humor helped my stepmom remain positive and keep fighting!
Besides using my humor to help with my stepmother’s diagnosis of cancer, I wish to become a neuroscience nurse. With some research, I observed that your brain sends small signals to your body indicating that something is wrong. This is very common for those who are able to go to doctors and understand their diagnosis at an early stage. I plan to attend Howard University and major in nursing where I can work on analyzing the brain and focusing on those who are diagnosed or in risk of acquiring cancer.
I also plan to study abroad and gather research on the many diseases we have yet to know of. I have realized that our world is evolving and so are the pathogens. I believe that if we are one step ahead, we can conquer the very things that hurt us today.