I was treated for Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia in high school. My treatment was for 2.5 years between the ages of 14-17, with the first 6 months being the most intense portion. As a teenager, my main desire was to feel like a normal teenager despite my diagnosis. I was very blessed because I had an incredible support system which tried to make me feel as normal as possible – looking back ironically I think I had more men interested in me romantically while I was bald than any other time in my life which as a teenager made me feel fabulous!
Going to the hospital was rough because of the treatments but having my parents watching out for me and a strong support system made it bearable. Even though there have been setbacks, I was able to graduate high school on time and went on to obtain a college and masters degree.
Today, I am surviving childhood cancer and am currently working as a therapist. My experience with cancer treatment has provided me with a deep empathy to be present for others at their most vulnerable. While I would not wish cancer on anyone and never want to get cancer again, I am a better person for my cancer experience and use it daily in my career.
I look forward to helping raise awareness for childhood cancer research because children and young adults battling cancer deserve better treatments with less side effects!