I Believe in Courage

Matt - Lonsdale, Minnesota
Entered on December 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: courage

I believe courage, that it can motivate you through anything. I learned that through my battle with cancer. In the summer leading up to my freshman year in high school I was diagnosed with ALL Leukemia. This hit me hard because at the time I was in the middle of a baseball season and getting ready for high school. My doctors told me that I would be done for the summer with baseball and I hated that. So I set a goal to beat my illness and return to play ball again in the spring for my school team and in summer leagues. Going through my rounds of chemotherapy and the many spinal taps I was never scared of anything. Then during one of my reular clinic appointments the doctors told me that in my Leukemia there was a chromosome defect called Philadelphia H+ Chromosome virus. To get rid of that, I needed to have a bone marrow transplant. Still I never lost my fighting instinct, just kept going through my treatments. In preparation for my BMT, I needed to have radiation therapy to knockout my cancer cells. This is where I hit my toughest points. Always having nausea and getting sores in my throat and mouth. I was put on a ventilator to help me breath. What the best sign for why I believe in courage was my little brother Mitch, they tested my mom, dad, my sister Caite, and Mitch to see if they were a match for my bone marrow. My brother turned out to be a perfect match. He wanted to do everything he could to help, so he gave me his marrow, which saved my life. Mitch didn’t like needles very much but he still had a biopsy so the doctors could remove some of his marrow and give it to me. He didn’t lose his courage to help me. I only spent twenty – seven days in the hospital before I was released. And about three months later I was playing baseball again just like I said I would. Never giving up and having great courage helped me beat cancer. Currently I am a senior in high school and three years in remission. Don’t ever lose your fight and stay positive, believe!