Simple Things Truly Make A Difference

During my junior year of high school, my varsity soccer coach and close friend’s mom passed away after a nine year struggle with cancer. Kathy Bowers was one of the most kind, generous, and warm-hearted people I have ever known. Despite having cancer, she coached the varsity girl’s soccer team and she was by far the best coach I ever had. At times, she was unable to stand to talk to or instruct us, but we gathered around her little chair as she gave us the game plan. She volunteered at church for many years, and she even travelled on a mission’s trip to Mexico to help cook and care for children in an orphanage there. She never once complained about the constant pain she was going through. She was extremely self-less and always looked for ways she could help other people. Sadly, her cancer got progressively worse and spread throughout her body. She fought hard, but in the end she couldn’t win. Her legacy lives on in her children and grandchildren and she will never be forgotten.

James “Rhio” O’Connor was a remarkable man who outlived his mesothelioma cancer prognosis of a year by more than six years. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops from the protective lining that covers many of the body’s internal organs, the mesothelium. It is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. By intense research, Rhio was able to find alternative methods of treatment to extend his life significantly.

Kathy Bowers and Rhio O’Connor truly are inspirations in the way they lived their lives and fought to battle cancer. If I was diagnosed with a deadly form of cancer I would like to live my life the way Kathy and Rhio did. I would first and foremost rely on the power of God and His work. I would focus not on myself, but look for ways to help others and the community as a whole. Finally, I would study and research to find alternative medications.

God is all powerful and all sovereign, he ultimately controls our lives. I would commit my life and more importantly my cancer to God and trust that he has a plan for my life. God is the healer and he is able to heal and perform miracles as he did in the Bible through his son Jesus. I would trust that God could heal my cancer and extend my life on earth if it was part of his will and plan for my life. Additionally, I believe that this earth is not all there is, I believe that those who trust and believe in God will go to heaven after death. Based on this, I will look ahead to heaven knowing that there I will experience no sickness or pain. My belief in God and an afterlife will hopefully extend my life and more importantly give me the hope I need for truly living.

Kathy Bowers is such an example as someone who lived her life selflessly caring for others and their needs. If I knew I had only a short time to live due to a rare form of cancer, I would not want others to feel sorry for me, instead I would seek to bless others in any way I could. I would continue serving and helping in my church as long as my health allowed it. And, I would invest my time into building friendships and relationships with other people. Finally, I would seek to help those who are less fortunate than me by contributing to non-profit organizations such as the Walk in my Shoes Global Project. In the past, I have donated my hair to locks of love where wigs are made for children with cancer. Simple things like this truly make a difference in the lives of those around us.

My aunt’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, but chose to forego chemotherapy and radiation to pursue alternative methods of treatment. Today, she is cancer free. While alternative treatments are not as common, they certainly work as in my aunt’s mother’s case and of Rhio’s case. Based on this, I would certainly research, study, and learn about my cancer as much as possible in order to proceed with the best possible treatment/cure for my particular case. I would consult multiple doctors in order to hear a variety of opinions and perspectives. I would contact those who are researching the particular cancer I was diagnosed with to gain insight into their discoveries. I would also speak with other patients who have also been diagnosed with the same cancer as me to find out what treatment they have undergone or are currently undergoing and how that is working for them. I would refuse to settle for what the first doctor instructs, but I will do all that I can to find out as much as I can not only for myself, but also for those who will be diagnosed with the same cancer in the future.

The work and effort that Rhio O’Connor went through truly is an inspiration. Prior to hearing about his incredible work, I would not be able to say the things I am saying now if I was given a dire cancer prognosis. After reading Rhio’s story I can now confidently say that I will make a serious effort and stride against cancer now and if I happen to be diagnosed in the future.

By: Quinones, Crystal

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