This I Believe

Isabelle - Western Springs, Illinois
Entered on October 2, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: death, family, legacy

This I Believe…

What is life but a fight, a struggle? I once knew someone that had a different perspective. Someone who believed in living life to the very fullest. Someone who always had a grin on her face. Someone who could not help but laugh even at stupid jokes. This someone was my grandmother, Jennifer Gamble, we called her Jeffy. Jeffy was diagnosed with brain cancer when she was twenty-nine years old. She had four children, my aunt Jaye, my aunt Dana, my aunt Kate, and my mom, Amy. It was a very scary experience for all of them because they were all very young. When she found out that she had been diagnosed she was put through chemotherapy and radiation. The chemotherapy and radiation shrunk the tumor, however it continued to overtake her brain. Two years later, when Jeffy was thirty-one years of age she was put through chemotherapy and radiation again. She was given only six months to live. Although, Jeffy was still the same happy person, she never complained about her serious disease, or those painful headaches she would constantly get, and she always put her family first. Jennifer was an extremely strong woman who lived for another three years until an additional tumor was found. The process continued, and chemotherapy and radiation were performed for the third time. Jeffy was given another six months to a year to live. Her strong will and amazing heart outlived the expectancy. Many years passed, and when she was fifty-eight years old the tumor returned and sadly, was inoperable. Three years later, when she was only sixty-one years of age, Jeffy passed away, my grandfather at her side, griping her hand tightly. And of course, she still had a smile on her face. Her amazing grace and huge heart got her to her early sixties with no regrets. Jennifer lived every single day to the very fullest and was the happiest person I knew. Her story inspired me, and still does to this day. Her compelling story taught me to believe in living every day to the very fullest and not to have any regrets.