Recipient

Christina O.

Texas, United States

There's no quit in cancer!

I was approaching my freshman year of college, I was excited to experience all that college had to offer and to get my degree in education. I was daydreaming of independence and good times. Little did I know what life had plan for me... My first week of college I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I was told to drop out of school because I needed to undergo surgery and radiation, but I decided to do my best and continue on. I knew deep down that if I left now I wouldn't go back. Shortly after I finished radiation I started developing debilitating headaches. These headaches were made worse by any type of exercise. After further testing I found out I had a malformation of the brain called Chiari Malformation and this required surgery to relieve the symptoms. I decided to have the surgery in the summer so I would not miss any school. Thank goodness the surgery was a success! After a long recovery I was able to get moving again and I told myself I would never take excising for granted. Because of all my time spent in the hospital and all the amazing relationships I built with the nurses, I decided to change my major to nursing. I wanted to impact the lives of my patients the way my nurses impacted mine. They made my dark days brighter. After 7 long years of college I graduated with my bachelors in nursing and I am currently working at my dream hospital taking care of pediatric patients.

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