Ryan - Champaign, Illinois
Entered on April 13, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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1%. That is what they told me. They told me that there was a 1% chance that one of my best friends had cancer. I was scared, scratch that, terrified that I might lose the person that has been by my side from day one when we shared the same babysitter. Here is his story, his motto, my belief.

It was fifth grade when my friend, Kevin, was told that a small bump on his leg had a 1% chance of having cancer. Along those lines, even a smaller percentage that his cancer was life threatening. I was feeling positive, hoping for the best during the process of all of his exams, tests, and doctor’s appointments when I was informed that my best friend was diagnosed with cancer. I was devastated and broke down crying as soon as I heard the news. I didn’t know what to think, what to do, or what to say. I tried to stay positive, not knowing how bad the cancer had spread or what type of cancer it was. It turned out that it was very bad. It was a type of cancer that is very rare, and very difficult to treat. I talked to Kevin later that day and he repeatedly said to me “I will never give up”.

As time went on, his cancer got worse. I slowly lost my optimistic point of view, but always tried to stay as positive as I could force myself to be. About 7 months after Kevin was diagnosed with cancer, he was told that he was going to lose his life to it. I was furious thinking about the odds that this actually would happen to him. The next time I saw him, I was shocked. He had nothing but a smile on his face. He said to me, “Ryan, life is precious, never give up, and never take anything for granted”. Kevin lived a very short life, but taught me so many valuable things about life.

I was in fifth grade when this happened, but still today, and forever in the future, I will live by Kevin’s quote. I believe that by following and trusting in this quote that I will live not only live the life that I want to live, but the life that Kevin would want me to live. Living your life to the greatest extent possible will prove to you who you really are, what you are really good at, and never leave you wondering “what if?”. Life comes at you fast, it is going to throw you curve-balls, but no matter what, always be grateful for what you have and what what you have to look forward to. Never Give Up.