This I Believe

Gutknecht - Centennial, Colorado
Entered on November 18, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: illness
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I Believe In Overcoming Challenges

I believe that we are each given challenges to overcome in life. These challenges are given to make us stronger. Some tests are much greater than others but they are never too great for us to handle. These challenges help us to grow and become better, more responsible people. I know this because of my cousin.

When he was a baby, he had bad ear infections so the doctors had to give him large amounts of antibiotics. For a long time after he healed he was fine, but then he was struck with another great challenge. When he was a mere 10 years old, he was diagnosed with diabetes. It brought around a huge lifestyle change. Before diabetes, he could eat and play whenever he wanted. With diabetes, he had to eat at the same time everyday, take shots at every meal, and test his blood sugar often. This took away many of the freedoms he had enjoyed before. He and his family stayed strong though, and pushed through. When he got an insulin pump, he was able to regain many of the freedoms he had been living without. He was finally learning to control his diabetes, when he was struck with yet another test. He was taken to Children’s Hospital over 160 miles from his home with a mysterious illness. He stayed there for about a week but he always kept a positive outlook and stayed happy. His mother wondered why this was happening to her only son. Why him? When she was talking to a good friend she asked this question. Her friend replied simply, “Because you will take care of him”. My cousin was diagnosed with Colitis, a disease that does not work well with diabetes. He faced the challenge and has once again altered his lifestyle to fit his needs. He is now reclaiming his old life and passions again.

These challenges have made my cousin a stronger, more responsible person. Even out of these terrible trials, given to such a young boy, good things have come. He is now more independent and has learned to take care of himself and his needs. He is also more responsible because he has to be in charge of his insulin and pay attention to his behaviors to know whether he is high or low. No challenges are given without reason. Trials and challenges build character and make a person stronger but they are not so large that people cannot deal with them. Everyone is given their own challenges, no matter how big or small, to overcome and to strengthen them in the long run.