An unforgetful walk home

Kaylee - hillsboro, Oregon
Entered on January 29, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

This I Believe

I believe if darkness falls upon you, hold you head high and light will come. The darkness started when I was 13 years old. I was walking home from school and I rang the doorbell to my house. My little sister answered the door with a worried look on her face. Suddenly she blurted out, Will has cancer. I laughed in total disbelief and said no he doesn’t. Then my sister looked at me like I was the most heartless person alive. She yelled at me screaming, yes he does, oh my gosh, I can’t believe you.

Then it sank into my skin like when you walk into a 30-year smoker’s house. My little cousin Will had cancer. After about 5 minutes when this tragic news sank in I grilled my sister with questions. The hardest ones for me to comprehend were ones that didn’t have a true answer. The ones everyone asks- Why? How? And the hardest one of all- Is he going to die?

Of course my sister couldn’t answer the questions, no one could. That’s what makes things like cancer so scary; no one knows the answers or the outcomes. I was so mad at whoever did this even though I knew no one did. I just broke down and cried.

Finally when my parents got home we all sat at the table, ate our dinner and talked about the tragic event. You see, both my grandpas have died of cancer, one just a few months earlier. My parents had received a phone call from my Uncle Nick (Will’s dad). They were at the hospital and Will was doing alright. Everyone was very tired from the never ending tests and plans for Will’s survival. We did figure out that Will had ALL or Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. ALL is most common in children and young adults. Recently, a lot of children 4 to 5 years old have been getting it. Will was 4. We also found out that the overall cure rate in children was 85% and 50% of adults have long term survival being disease-free. So there was some good news.

That night was probably one of the most intense nights of my life. Nick called us again and told us Will was doing ok but tomorrow would be rough, with a lot more tests. They would also figure out a plan with the doctor to cure Will. Will is a strong boy though, and his little brother Charlie would help put a smile on his face anytime. You see Will was 4 years old when he got cancer. Too young. Will is five years old now and although cancer is extremely rough he is doing ok. We visited Will and his family last summer. We saw Blank Children’s Hospital where he stays and even met his friend Elijah (he also had leukemia) who was 3 at the time. Those little boys can sure light up a room! So can his best hockey-playing 3-year old brother, Charlie. It just makes you think how lucky you are. I know that this is going to be hard for Will and everyone who cares for him, but I believe that when darkness falls upon you, hold your head high and light will come.