The one word I would use to describe my cancer experience is unexpected. The weekend before my diagnosis with leukemia, I felt like a normal healthy kid, doing something I loved, playing in a soccer tournament. During my tournament, I had a bit of a runny nose, and a sore throat, leading my family and I to believe that I had a cold, and just had to fight through it. Following that weekend, I was diagnosed with leukemia, and would spend three years of my life going through cancer treatment. While I am now in remission, my cancer still affects me to this day, and that has been the hardest part. Comparing where I was then to where I am now shows me how much cancer truly has affected my life. I no longer have the endurance that I once had, and I have experienced so many injuries following cancer. Chemotherapy treatment took away a part of my childhood preventing me from being with my friends and forcing me to grow up much faster than my peers.
Having been through a the experience of being diagnosed with a blood cancer, it truly shed light on how little I knew about cancer, and how many people were affected by these diseases. My awareness has grown throughout the years, and that is why I feel so passionate to give back now, almost as if it is my duty. Although I was able to survive, and come out with such a positive outcome, many others are not as lucky, and therefore research for new treatments and therapies for cancer is a continual work in progress, that we should all contribute to. In addition, going through such a life changing experience truly shows you who is your support system, and who will always be there for you through the thick and thin. I now cherish those people in my life.
I was inspired to join Light The Night because LTN changed my life. I can say for certain that the funds and support raised by the LLSC has given so many opportunities for research, cures, and therapies, that could have been the reason that I am alive here today. Ultimately, the aspect of cancer that bothered me the most was my hair loss, and therefore I want to be able to help no person have to go through that experience.
Light The Night means so much to me, being able to see how many people were supporting me through my tough time, and how many people were experiencing similar situations, truly gave me hope.