Continuance for Dreams

Betsy - Harrisonburg, Virginia
Entered on February 15, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

In my sophomore year of high school, I shockingly broke my femur bone at volleyball tryouts, and I was faced with the toughest situation I have ever gone through; unfortunately, I am still coping with it today. I was diagnosed with a rare bone disorder, known as fibrous dysplasia, which causes hollow lesions in my bones (specifically isolated in my femur and hip). Breaking my femur and then recovering was miserable, but I didn’t let my disorder get in the way of my dreams and going to college. Therefore, life throws curve balls, but if you are one that has goals and dreams, let nothing get in the way.

It was my third year playing for my high school’s volleyball team, and sweat covered the floor of the gym where we were on the ground doing pushups and other exercises. When we rose to our feet, the ground was as slippery as ice. Immediately preceding, we were running suicides when my leg slipped and I heard the crack of a bat. I hit the floor and screamed like a helpless child. When my mother arrived, I saw the pain and fear in a truly scared mother’s eyes. I waited on the floor of my high school gym for an ambulance for an hour and fifteen minutes. By this time, my entire leg had turned purple and black.

Finally arriving at the hospital, I was told that I have numerous tumors in my femur and hip making my bones paper thin. I went into surgery that night where they inserted a rod from my knee to my hip and many screws to ensure stability. Two weeks later, a biopsy came back and told us that, as for now, it is not cancer. I have never felt more relief and happiness than in that moment.

I was faced with many alternatives after breaking my femur. My school was not wheelchair accessible, with many of my classes outside, and homeschooling was an apparent option I would not accept. I went to school every day in my wheelchair, which I was supposed to be in for six months to a year. Though, with countless sessions of physical therapy, I was crutching and slowly walking in three months. I had kept up with my governor’s school, academic clubs, and community service so I could get into a great college.

Healing has been a slow and painful process, but I try to never let it bother me. I am now in college pursuing my dreams, and I did not let my disorder prevent me from obtaining my dreams. Thus, it must be understood that life will throw one many curve balls, but if one has goals and dreams, let nothing get in the way. Winston Churchill said, “Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” This I believe.