Lymphoma can be highly deadly since it is a cancer that spreads throughout the whole body. In February 2012, my step dad who is in my heart a dad to me, was hospitalized with an unknown liquid surrounding his heart. One week later, he was diagnosed with lymphoma. Only a few days later, we would know that the cancer had developed to stage 4, making his cancer incurable.

In March 2012, he was released from the hospital to go home and to receive intensive care from hospice. He would only have a nurse visit him every 2-3 days, making a close relative his primary nurse, day and night, in this case, making me his care taker, turning my life outside of school an imprisonment.

My life inside of school wasn’t much different. I had fallen behind in my school work and with little time to do my work, I soon started to stop eating so I could use that time to work.Soon after, I started to develop a lack of sleep, only having 4-5 hours of sleep per night, making me more fatigued than I already was.

Only after his death would I realize the reason I kept going was because he taught me the basics of life, to never quit. He pushed me to be my best, no matter how difficult the situation got to be. And I finally learned that no matter how life hits you or how hard, you always have to stand back up on both feet and keep walking tall.

A.G., Hendrick scholar