This I Believe

Caleb - Napoleon, Ohio
Entered on December 7, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe that life is too short. When I was young, around third grade, I was diagnosed with aplastic anemia. Aplastic Anemia is an extremely rare disease in which the body stops producing bone marrow. This brought a great deal of stress and uncertainty to my whole family. I was in the hospital, away from my family for what seemed like forever. All the injections, transfusions, and surgeries kept me alive, but the thought of another needle in my arm still makes me break out in a cold sweat. After the drugs that were supposed to make my body produce bone marrow didn’t work I had to have a bone marrow transplant from my brother; who was a perfect match. I had to take anti-rejection drugs for a little over a year.

I stayed in a Ronald McDonald house for a little bit, before being allowed home. I remember on my youngest brother’s birthday I was allowed to come home. For about a year I couldn’t do much but stay at home, because my immune system was too weak and the risk of infection was really high.

It would be unnecessary to go into detail on everything that happened, but the point is that I realized I could have died at any moment. At the age of around nine years old I could have left this world. I started thinking and I realized that life is too short to worry about the small things. Maybe you should worry if someone shot you in the chest, but I wouldn’t worry about anything material.

Don’t hold back anything, and don’t miss a single opportunity. You don’t want to look back in your life and say to yourself “Hey, I was being a little schoolgirl, I shouldn’t have held anything back.” You’ll never know the outcome unless you try. That was a little cheesy but it’s true. It is my belief that life is too short; so don’t waste a single moment of it.