When I was in the sixth grade my little brother was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. It was a very arduous time for my family and I, but we remained strong for him. Being diagnosed at only nine years old, he was so tough and ended up being cancer free after only a year and a half of chemotherapy. That was around six years ago and he has remained cancer free ever since.
When I think back on everything he had to endure I can’t even imagine what it would be like, but his story has changed how I think about life, and his success has really motivated me to do something more for myself and others.
Despite what he went through, he’s always been so driven to do well in school and keep a good job. On the other hand, I messed around in high school and was so reluctant to have a job.
Last week I watched Jacob walk the stage for his high school graduation and I can honestly say I’ve never been so proud of someone in my entire life.
He’s one of the strongest people I’ve ever met and even though he was dealt some pretty bad cards in his childhood he stayed strong and has been so successful in everything he’s tried to do.
As I saw him walk across the stage and heard the announcer call out his name I choked up a little and thought to myself, “How can a kid who has been through so much be so inspired to be educated and make something of himself?”.
The answer to that question is actually pretty simple, just because you had something bad happen to you doesn’t have to define what will happen to you in the future.
When I think back on how I acted in high school I am so ashamed of myself, I watched my brother turn out to be a very smart young adult and I look back at myself and it disgusts me that I took everything my family did for me for granted. In seeing how he turned out, I’ve come to the realization that my life wasn’t even that bad, no matter how terrible I thought it was at the time. He has really changed how I feel about myself and he’s given me the courage and strength to seek out a higher education instead of following the same path I’ve been on for the past few years.
I can honestly say I’m so lucky to have him as a brother, and I can’t wait to see where our lives take us from now on. I used to have a fear of going back to school, but his success has really changed how I feel about it. We are both on a long road to bettering ourselves and I can finally say that like him, I too am so excited to see what else life will throw at me. No matter good or bad, I can’t wait to learn from the coming experiences we will soon face.