Chelsea - Princeton, Illinois
Entered on May 27, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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The ability to do or endure. Strength. The quality or condition one has of power. Strength, mentally and physically. I believe in the power of strength. With it I can overcome any dilemma. Believing in it can get me through any crisis.

Earlier in my lifetime, I spent most of my summer days lounging around at my aunt’s house because my parents worked in the summer. Her two daughters were all grown up and her husband, my uncle, worked during the day. It was quiet, but my aunt and I always kept each other company. Fixing large lunches with delicious deserts or a

bike ride to the park, occasionally a trip to the pool is how my aunt and I liked to spend our summer days.

Right before dinner when it was time to go home, I never wanted to leave. So my aunt would always sneak me a Popsicle for the short walk home without my mom ever knowing. With her I could talk about anything. She was my second mom, also a best friend! She was such a role model for me. When I grew up I wanted to be just like her. She encouraged me to do anything!

Finally summer was coming to an end, so it was back to the doctors for the first of the year check-up sort of thing. It didn’t go very well. A few days later my aunt got a call from her doctor. My hero has been diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time, it didn’t really soaked in. I guess I was just too young to understand the seriousness of this. I didn’t know this was a life and death matter.

The last few weeks of summer were not the same. The house seemed quieter, we didn’t laugh nor play the same. We didn’t go back to the pool, or take bike rides to the park. She even forgot to give me a Popsicle when I walked home. It’s funny, looking back, how those changes showed me something was terribly wrong. I remember going to her house the last Thursday before school started. She was sitting in the living room holding a pile of hair in her hands. Her eyes looked swollen, but I didn’t say anything. For the rest of the afternoon she explained to me about her disease. She told me that she had to go through Chemotherapy to get better. She said I needed to help her be strong and have faith. She said if I didn’t believe she could fight this and live, than she wouldn’t believe in herself either. She needed a support system and that’s what I was going to be for her.

As school started again and the year passed, my aunt began her therapy and I still saw her often. One year, sixteen days, and five hospitals later, my aunt had made it through cancer. It might have taken all the strength in the world but she, we, did it. Strength, this I believe.