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A bo ut Micah has now been in remission for 5 years and is going strong. She was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in November 2003 at the age of 11 and completed her treatment in July 2006.She currently attends Elmira College in New York and is actively involved with the tennis team, the Gold Key Society and Ultimate Frisbee. She is also the senator for Hillel. She plans to focus on Human Services and Psychology and is looking towards a career in which she is able to help people. After her long battle, her entire outlook on life has changed. The uncontrollable fear, anger and determination to beat out her disease brought her so many blessings in the end. The amazing people she met through treatment, the support of her family and friends and the lessons she learned through this process makes her goal, which is to experience as much as she can.The inspiration for her essay came from her love of writing and being able to express herself as diﬀerently and uniquely as possible. She expressed her emotions through various fonts and styles of writing to convey her sense of fear, anger and the diﬃcult journey she went through. Micah plans on using the award funding to support her dreams of traveling and saving for her future goals in life.
Es sayAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Okay, take a moment...Breathe...Lets be honest, Micah, thats never worked for you. In all honesty, whoever came up with screaming at the top of ones lungs was genius. Because though it does not solve anything, it is liberating. And everyone needs, or at least wants, to feel free as opposed to feeling trapped. You see, the truth is, Im not sure how to start my story this time. Ive written about it time after time, Ive talked about day after day, and God knows Ive thought about it more than I can ever let on. I guess, today, I just feel...LOST. Here are the facts: 1. I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia back on November 1, 2003 at eleven years old. 2. I spent almost three years ﬁghting something I was told I could originally beat in a little under two years. 3. My treatment consisted of chemotherapy, radiation, and lots of television, mainly FRIENDS and reality TV. 4. I ﬁnished treatment on July 25, 2006. 5. I will be oﬃcially cancer free this summer because I will have reached my ﬁve-‐year mark. Now, that was the easy part, but lets be honest: the in-‐between, you know, the real make-‐you-‐want-‐to-‐throw-‐pillows-‐out-‐the-‐window or the emotional-‐pain-‐that-‐is-‐so-‐overwhelming-‐
you-‐think-‐your-‐heart-‐might-‐stop-‐even-‐for-‐a-‐second truth is so much greater and harder to tell...because it just is. I know Im rambling, I know. But like I said, the breathing never helps, so I have to express myself in a way that even puzzles me. The bottom line is that no one ever tells you the real truth, the in-‐between-‐the-‐lines truth: there is so much that you couldnt change if you wanted to, and for better or worse, relationships made every diﬀerence in this horrifying and yet, strangely poetic journey. When I was sick, it was like I was glass. I could easily break and people had to treat me with care. And they did. My mom, dad, and two-‐year older brother became so much to me. They were my shelter, or I guess in this metaphor Im attempting to create, a table for me to rest on. (DOES THAT ACTUALLY MAKE SENSE?) Anyway, something held us together and therefore, I held together. Like I said, I was fragile and there were times when I did break. But they always managed to piece me back together. I love them. I do. Of course, I had some incredible friends, too. Keep in mind, they were all young, like me. Innocent, not even at the age of puberty yet. But they called me, hugged me, protected me, laughed with me. Maybe they didnt understand, even I didnt understand. Not sure if I do to this day. But the few that stayed by me...Well, thank you. And I wont be letting them out of my life anytime soon. Then, there were others. Those who didnt know how to cope with my illness or how to react to me. Once, upon a time, there was a young girl with long brown hair, a goofy smile, and a naive sense about her. She was good at basketball and softball, made ridiculous jokes, and felt on top of the world. GONE. Something happened along the way to me: She became bald, sick, tired, she spent most of her time sleeping, soon she became reserved and lost. The end. So, in some ways, it was my fault too. I didnt reach out as much as I should have. I didnt know how. In order to understand, just imagine, standing in place while the world is speeding past you at the speed of light. They move on with their life but you are just...STILL.
I learned from this that some relationships change forever. And for anyone, especially an eleven-‐twelve-‐year old girl, its never easy. How do you ﬁx it? How do you change it? See, there it is again: change. Then you realize, maybe, as much as it hurts for them to go, maybe they were there in your life when you needed them and gone when you were ready to move on. Unfortunately, there are times when relationships are not enough. I met several people throughout my journey who were plagued with similar life-‐threatening illnesses. They didnt make it. With that, came survivors guilt. Nothing is as painful as questioning why you remained alive while the person you cared about, who had a similar journey, was taken away. At the end of the day, all someone ever looks for, is to have someone to hold onto, even for a little while. And when someone is sick, all they look for is someone to give them a sense of belonging, but more than anything, people look for...HOPE. Because, no they dont get what youre going through, not one hundred percent. And they can drive you crazy. Or they leave your life, maybe even leave the world. But when youre ﬁghting something that makes you question everything, and makes you feel lost as anything else, all it takes is just knowing that even if you feel alone, there are others in the world who want to be lost and alone with you. Im not sure if this is even on point. I feel a little lost myself nowadays. What Im trying to say is that sometimes, all we need is to know that despite the obstacles, despite the burden of the unknown, all we need to do is to ﬁnd our way back. We need to hold on tight with each other, close our eyes, and imagine deep within us the inner child that keeps us holding onto the possibility of letting go and learning to ﬁnd the wonders of freefalling!