Almost 1 year ago to the day my life changed forever, one of my closest friends, Jacob, was diagnosed with cancer. When life changes we tend to look on the downside of things, for instance that we can’t go to the mall due to the coronavirus. Or that we can’t go to our favorite vacation spot due to a hurricane. What we need to do is look on the bright side of things. Instead of going to the mall maybe we can do some family bonding. Instead of going to a favorite vacation spot you can explore a new one.
While these may seem to be pretty obvious, sometimes it’s not that obvious. When Jacob was diagnosed with cancer I really didn’t know what to do. I mean what can I do as a kid who knows nothing about cancer? What was the mindset that got me there? It was one where I looked on the downside of things and not the upside. When I look back at it, had I changed my mindset earlier I would have been far better off. When you first think about it, there is no upside in someone close to you having cancer. A year later, my perspective has changed.
I was able to learn how much of a gift seeing people everyday is. Most cancer patients are only allowed to see their family for a certain amount of time. I learned how important it is to treat everyday, like it’s your last time seeing someone. Jacob had to go into the hospital to be treated for meningitis and many other illnesses associated with cancer. The biggest thing I learned is that we as a society need to teach more people about childhood cancer.
What I mean by that is when Jacob was diagnosed with cancer a lot of misconceptions spread about cancer. Students at my school believed that they may “catch it,” and that the school was “infected.” I can’t fault them for this, cancer is never discussed in school like heart disease or the flu. My friend Andrew and I decided that we needed to help our peers understand that they had a ton of misconceptions. We held an assembly for our grade in October to explain some of the basics to our classmates.
Andrew and I needed a group for the school to support because we wanted to have fundraising dollars donated somewhere that would help someone like Jacob. Andrew and I immediately decided on TeamConnor. We couldn’t have made a better choice. Through our work with TeamConnor we were able to educate not only people at our school but other people in the DFW community as well as our family and friends across the country about childhood cancer.
This entire experience with TeamConner has been wonderful even though it was triggered by an illness I wish never existed.
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