Seventeen. That’s how old I was when they told me I had cancer. That certainly wasn’t something that I thought I’d hear in my lifetime. As I lay on my gurney, one thing’s for sure, that kind of news isn’t easy to take. Suddenly, all that I had done and all that I had yet to do seemed so unimportant.

“You better not kick the bucket before I do!” In his way, my dad gave me the courage to fight a disease that had taken the life of so many. This “thing” wasn’t going to stop me. I had things to do. The little things I had done and those I had yet to do all seemed so far away and insignificant.

My family was there for me. Had it not been for them, I believe I wouldn’t be here today writing these words. During the Battle, you learn to appreciate the little things like having coffee with a friend or just taking the time to be there, alive. You take the time to help those around you and listen to them. In a way, its life’s way of telling you to slow down, don’t run, enjoy.

I’m 22 now and it’s almost been five years since I first received my diagnosis. I’m in remission. My legs are “battle scarred”, but I’m alive and kicking. I’ll never give up no matter what.