Everyday events and the consequences can impact our daily lives. The significance and timing of an event can have a lasting impression on ones future. Looking introspectively at your past can help create a map for how you approach your life and the steps you have taken that moved you in a certain direction. Sometimes the path you are given has many hard moments, but what you do with those moments help shape who you are. When I was 11 years old my best friend Katie lost her battle with a rare form of cancer, Neuroblastoma. To be so young and see your best friend struggle with cancer was something that changed me forever. Her illness went on for two years and during that time I was her friend and playmate and spent countless hours at the children’s hospital. My visits had such an impact on Katie. Her mother would always thank me for visiting Katie and tell me how her mood was brighter when I was there. Dealing with Katie’s illness at such a young age made me view life as fragile and had me thinking more deeply about what is important, what I care about, and what kind of person I want to be.
As I got older I wanted to make a difference, so I developed a program to “give back” in honor of Katie. I researched various hospitals and organizations to decide how best to support seriously ill children. Through the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford and my High School, I started a club called Teens for Ronald McDonald House. The club raised money and put on events at the Ronald McDonald House in Palo Alto. The events were designed to allow teenagers to engage in everyday teenage activities. Typical events included: Stanford football games, Spa Days, Movies and Games Days. Giving back and watching the teenagers and their families relax and be stress free from their medical challenges was very rewarding. It was important to me to ensure the club continued after I left high school and I am pleased to say the club lives on. Just a few years later I was diagnosed...
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