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I had just started my sophomore year of high school. I was 16 years old, and I was feeling great. I had just finished my first year of varsity football, and I was making the transition to basketball season. I just worked on my shooting, ran to stay in shape, and focused on some passing and ball handling. I was not the fastest and I had awful stamina, but I hustled and worked my butt off, which is why I made the team. Practice was difficult for me: 7 days a week, 1 1/2 hours a day, running for about a half-hour straight.
On a Monday following a brutal scrimmage, in which we would have been beat by 100, I felt sick to my stomach. I went home during school, along with the two days after that. I went to the doctor the third day, and they said I had symptoms of a brain tumor. I went to have an MRI done, and it showed tumor markers. I had a germinoma tumor that was malignant. I met with a pediatric oncologist, and she assured me that everything would be fine. She said the kind of tumor has a high cure rate, and it likely wouldn’t come back after treatment. I ended up having 6 cycles of chemo (3 days on, 3 weeks rest, total of 18 treatments) and 5 weeks of radiation therapy (about 30min/day for 5days/wk for 5 weeks). This all started the first week of December, and treatment ended mid April-early May. I finished the school year fine, passed most of my regents exams (except a2/trig), and on july 30th, 2013, I got the call with my MRI results showing no signs of a tumor.
What really got me through this experience was the support I had from my family, friends, classmates, teachers, coaches, and others within my school and hometown communities. When I received all these letters and cards and gifts from everyone, I really appreciated their support and I was happy and confident that I could make it through. It is because of this experience that I am more grateful for everyone in my life, and cherishing every moment as it comes.