The room was silent except for the beeping noises from the heart monitor machine. Everyone crowded around the tiny hospital bed with silent tears streaming down their faces. My hand tightly grasped hers for the last time, praying that I would never have to let go. When my dad told me that the end was near, memories from the last eleven years flashed before my eyes. From her teaching me how to play chess to being the loudest one cheering me on at baseball games to helping me with my homework, my mind frantically began racing from the thought of not having her with me. Then the sound of the flatline began to ring in my ears.
When my mom was alive, she did everything she could to ensure that I was happy and successful in anything I tried. She would shuttle me from baseball games to tennis practice to boy scouts meetings, making time for me in her already hectic workweeks. It wasn’t until she was gone that I realized how many sacrifices she made in order to make my life easier. She would put her life goals and dreams on hold in order to help me fulfill my silly childhood dreams of becoming an MLB player or the next Roger Federer. I wish I had a chance to tell her how much I appreciate everything that she gave up for me. However, I know that my mom would never think of all the things she did for her family as a sacrifice because of how much she loved us and wanted us to be happy. After her death, I began to realize the true meaning of family and caring for one another.
I find myself thinking about my mom often. Her life, although it was cut short, was filled with love and happiness for other people. When she was diagnosed with cancer, it was the worst feeling in the world. I was completely helpless. Even though I had no way of curing my mom, I realized that I was not helpless in my ability to help out others who are going through the same struggles. I strive to approach my life the same way she did hers, spreading love and empathy for the people I love.
Going into my senior year, I joined Camp Kesem to spread the love my mom instilled in me and create a family with people going through the same hardships. I saw myself in each and every one of those campers, a helpless and confused child who could not understand the uncertainty of the future by having a parent with cancer. I grew extremely passionate about helping them in any way that I could. Even though I could not lift the burden of their parent’s cancer off their shoulders, I wanted to show the kids that there is hope and that no what happens with their parents there is still life beyond the disease. Camp Kesem has helped me realize that being with others who have been affected by cancer does make things a little bit easier to process and I hope to give that to the families along our trip to Alaska.
I am riding in Texas 4000 with the hopes of raising awareness and funds to search for a cure to this merciless disease. I hope that in the future, no other child will have to go through the same hardships of losing a parent to cancer. Additionally, Texas 4000 will allow to create friendships and bonds with all of the other riders who have been affected by cancer by some form or another in their lives. I would love to be apart of a support system in which we all rely on and take care of each other. My ride to Alaska is dedicated to my mom and the families of Camp Kesem as we show the world there is hope for a cure and that we will not stop fighting until it is found.