This I Believe

Miles - Penryn, California
Entered on September 24, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in carpe diem.

I am a student and an athlete. Growing up as a child in Portland Oregon I have always wanted to make the most out of the day. I had no restrictions with many ways of transportation available. Each day I woke up with the attitude that I was going to do something exciting with my life.

When I was about 13, I entered my 8th grade year with all of my friends that I have known since my early years of elementary school. I decided that I was going to make my 8th grade year memorable. Wilson High School was having try-outs for a junior basketball team. I couldn’t pass up the chance to make a team that was being coached by the varsity coach for Wilson. This would give me enough recognition to make it for the high school team.

Meanwhile, I was administered into the hospital for Chrone’s disease. I figured that my entire year would be ruined. However, this didn’t stop me from trying out for basketball. At this point I was anemic and very weak. I showed up for try outs and later that week I received a call saying that I made the team.

Throughout the year, my disease was persistently getting worse. In some games I was unable compete to the best of my ability. Sometimes I couldn’t even play. Thereafter, my doctor was able to find something that would help control my disease. I continued to play and improve my skills in basketball for the rest of the season.

At the end of the season I dislocated my knee during a game and went to physical therapy for the next six months. My parents also were going through a divorce. Despite the problems that I faced in my life, I was determined to have fun with all of my friends. I still showed up to every practice and every game for both of my teams. I practiced everyday until I felt satisfied. Once I improved my range of motion in my leg I was riding my bike, taking hikes, swimming, jogging, and staying active in sports.

I am now 17 years old. I live in California with my dad and my two younger brothers. In the past two years I have become an avid snowboarder and a thrill-seeker. I enjoy all extreme sports, camping, going to the lake, hanging out with friends, and doing anything that makes my life exciting.

After discovering that Chrone’s disease can affect my life permanently, I have lived each day with a positive outlook. I have grown stronger as a person after facing many difficulties. Most importantly, I have learned to appreciate everything I have in life.