This I Believe

kerry - LaGrange, Illinois
Entered on October 5, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: illness

Although times may be difficult and hard, I truly believe everything happens for a reason. Call it fate, destiny, or karma, I believe that nothing is just “chance.” When I was in third grade, my brother Packy had a deadly kidney infection and spent most of his time in the hospital for a year. Thankfully, he recovered, but because of my memories, I completely ignored the thought of hospitals and disease. After he recovered, as all seemed well in my life, the biggest shock I, to this day have ever experienced, was yet to come. In sixth grade my other brother Jimmy’s ear started hurting. The local doctor said it was just an ear infection so we didn’t think anything of it. Later, I found out it was not an ear infection, but that my brother had cancer. While most four year olds’ biggest problem was the boogie man, my brother was dealing with a fatal illness. I never realized how terrible cancer was until I had to watch Jimmy get his daily shots, loose his hair and feeling in half of his face, go to chemotherapy and radiation early in the morning, and other things that are defiantly not easy to watch a four year old go through. And although him having cancer made nightmares look like fantasies, I actually believe it happened for a reason. My family is now so strong and I know I can emotionally get through anything now. Jimmy’s situation reminds me of how each day is something precious and that I need to live to the fullest. But most importantly, having a family member with cancer has made my family involved in raising money for cancer research. When not planning a fundraiser, my parents are going to one. Because of my brother having cancer, the money raised is saving more and more people. Having a family member with cancer has also shaped my belief on smoking because it is ridiculous to do something that practically guarantees you cancer. People don’t realize how terrible it really is, and only as a bystander of someone with it, I can tell you, it is worse than hell.

And though thankfully my brother did conquer cancer, it doesn’t work out that way for everyone. I remember my brother’s friend Sophy at the hospital. Sophy was the cutest little girl his age who had cancer and a bald head too. Unfortunately, Sophy died because of cancer. I remember hearing so much sadness and grieving because of her death. I then realized that this terrible process happens to millions of people with cancer all the time and that it must be stopped. This is why my brother got cancer. So that I, as well as others around me, realize that it has to end. Hopefully one day people won’t have to loose their hair or be enslaved to an IV machine. By having awareness about this repulsing disease, I join the fight against the biggest bully I know, cancer.