Just before my 21st birthday, I received a call that I had a brain tumor and needed to see a neurosurgeon right away. I was a college student with high ambitions. My greatest asset was my brain, but now it had an unwelcomed visitor. A visitor that was soon kicked out. Completing my educational goals was very challenging. Especially with constant migraines and difficulty handling rigorous tasks during fieldwork. I did not want to be known as the student who could not do it, but the student who strived for more than greatness. Five years later, I am now working on my graduate studies doing incredible research.
I am working on understanding the energetic processes going on during the initial stages of the Solar System through chondrule formation. I chose a rigorous path, but I enjoy every second of it. I started presenting my research at conferences, displaying the grey ribbon for brain tumor awareness next to my name on my presentations to show to others that brain tumors are out there and they are not stopping us from doing what we love. After my master’s, I plan on pursuing PhD studies continuing the theme with chondrule formation, research with Ceres, or sample returns. For those currently struggling with their diagnosis, strive for more than greatness and never settle. Live the life you dream.