This I Believe

William - Toledo, Ohio
Entered on January 30, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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As child I gained a sense of self early on. I came to know myself as a caring and strong willed individual. When I was eight years old my father went into renal failure, which means the kidneys, the body’s filtering system, stopped working. This whole ordeal caused his health to spiral out of control. He went on dialysis and this continued for eight years. During those years I helped take care of him. Whether it was emptying the filtered dialysis fluid or offering him a glass of water, I was there.

This seemed to be a way of life for me after a while, but for my dad it was very difficult to let his own child take care of him. As all this went on my mother’s health paralleled his. She was in and out of hospitals, and being studied vigorously by doctors. She has Diabetes and up until the last year or so she didn’t take very good care of her disease. Her glucose and blood sugar levels would drop so low that she would have to be hospitalized for stroke-like symptoms. And as soon as all this was taken care of my father was hospitalized for back surgery. Days later due to complications after surgery he died. I remember being completely silent during the car ride to the hospital. He was revived and put on life support in ICU. And after he made his recovery, a few years later he was hospitalized once again with sclerosing peritonitis which affects the kidneys. After this it seemed like nothing could save him. The medical team had cadaver donors lined up, but a waiting list was in effect. My brother surprised the family and offered his kidney for a transplant. They were a perfect match, which is extremely rare in medical history.

My mother’s health also improved. She had to take care of herself in order to be strong for the family. All of these things have taken there toll on the family, and have vastly affected the way I live my life. Thus I believe in walking against the wind. This means continuing on in the face of adversity. Just as it takes muscular effort to walk against the wind, it takes would take extra emotional and mental effort to work through a struggle. And much as those muscles become stronger when put to work; one becomes emotionally stronger in dealing with the issues faced throughout ones life. This also means never give up. I believe in determination, in never being broken down by the every day trials and tribulations faced in the activities in which I am a part of. My experiences in my youth and in my present day have shaped me, and have left me with the confidence to face the future.