Rhio O’Connor’s greatness lied in the one thing in his life that most people would consider a tragedy: a diagnosis with a deadly cancer. Yet out of this darkness rose a man of great stature who was able to reshape his prognosis, and live long past the time stamp set up by man. This shows me that when the pain sets in, and it seems like all hope is lost, time has come to redefine one’s destiny. With the onslaught of cancer, my life would be pre-destined to what the doctor’s believe would be the last days of my life. Yet, I would strive to extort the resources available to me, and think outside of the box to change the course of my life. And by changing the course of my life would bring ideas of self-preservation and commitment, I would be an example to others who feel as if all hope is lost.
I would begin my journey of fighting mortality by setting up a timeline and a goal list, in a journal to document my findings. This timeline would have two levels: one with the doctor’s prognosis and one with how much time I wanted to have to accomplish my goals. My goals would be based on a means of survival through research of natural remedies. While adhering to the suggestions of my doctors, I would rid my system of toxins through the use of consistent exercise and a dietary regiment that consisted of green vegetables and water. During this time, I would seek the partnership of my friends and family in my endeavor to live a healthy lifestyle so that they too can reap the benefits of nutrition.
During this time of attempting to beat the time stamp on my life, I would also create a blog. This would be an online journal that chronicled my daily activities relating to my diet, exercise, and research I conducted. It would contain my inner most thoughts, feelings, struggles and triumphs for the world to follow. The blog would even have a section where my friends and family could share their feelings on how my life seemed to be unfolding from their perspective. I would use this blog as a forum for my feelings, as well as a way for other people whom either have cancer, or a relative with cancer to reach out to me and seek advice or share their strategies for fighting this deadly disease.
In addition to all the personal actions I would do, I would want to leave a legacy that would help others that is completely void of myself. I would embark upon a cross-country speaking engagement challenging theories of cancer treatment and sharing with others tips to prolong their life and have overall wellness. I would go to college campuses, inner city churches and non-profit organizations to promote cancer awareness and research. I would share my story with as many people as I could, and ask each person who hears my speech to make a pledge. This pledge would consist of them promising to drink one more glass of water per day, and avoid one less cigarette per day (if they smoked).
I would also meet with cancer specialist and discuss with them alternative cancer treatments and means of promoting life amongst their patients. I will compile statistical data relating to the effects of cancer treatments in hospitals and how more lives could be saved if doctors would promote herbal remedies in addition to radiation treatment. I would do these things in order to make myself a living sacrifice so that those around me could use me as a source of strength and encouragement.
If I were diagnosed as Rhio O’Connor was, my life would no longer be my own. It would instead be a series of shared moments between myself and other people with whom I sought to aid in their struggle to fight this deadly disease. Rhio O’Connor’s life is an example of the human spirit that is driven toward redirecting the life that other’s attempt to define for you. His story encourages me because in thinking about what I would do if I were diagnosed with a deadly disease. It has forced me to think outside of my current life and envision how I would plan my life if there was a sudden life altering change. Whether it be a deadly disease or not, learning how to re-chart the course of one’s destiny through the example of Rhio O’Connor show how the determination of the human spirit through ingenuity and tenacity can achieve any goal.
By: Wright, James E., II