To My Dead Homie

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Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you and describe that influence.

My life changed in September of 2009 when I met my good friend Nate Thomas. It all began in the Halls of Roman Catholic High School. I had dreamt of the day I could finally wear purple and gold with pride and represent Roman. However, my first day of school was very different than expected. In middle school, I was used to being known by fellow students and teachers throughout the hallways, in the cafeteria and on the basketball court, but at Roman I had to start all over. I was in unfamiliar territory and in need of immediate guidance and friendship.

On my first day, I was unloading books out of my locker, when a 4 foot 2 fellow freshman arrived at the locker next to me to do the same. We introduced ourselves and realized, regardless of our noticeable height difference, that we shared many things in common. From that moment, Nate became one of my best friends and someone I could count on for anything. Nate was born with pulmonary tricuspid atresia, which basically means he was born with the complete absence of the tricuspid valve. Aside from Nate’s height, no one could tell he had a congenital heart disease. Nate was not only at every Roman basketball game, but could be heard cheering the loudest in the gym. He never once complained about his illness, but rather embraced each day as a gift with a positive spirit.

When I faced obstacles or setbacks, Nate was quick to offer guidance not judgement. One of the biggest setbacks for me occurred on the basketball court. As a junior, I was excited to be an upperclassman and help contribute to a talented varsity team. However, to my dismay I was put on the Junior Varsity team. At first, I was discouraged, angry, and an overall miserable person. I thought “How could they do this to me? I had forever dreamt of being a member of the Varsity team.” My initial reaction of negativity and pity for myself is...
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