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My Story: Ryan O’Rourke

My mom was diagnosed last summer. Right before my sophomore year of high school, my soccer preseason, my sweet sixteen, and everything that once seemed so incredibly important…

When I found out, I went into shock, not able to process what had happened. I would go into my room and just sit there. Unable to cry. Unable to think. All I could focus on was the “why”. Why did God do this to me? Why is there such a low survival rate? Why hasn’t anyone found a cure for cancer? Why out of all the moms in the world, was mine hurt. Just why…

You know, you never really think about these kind of things: cancer, death, sickness. Because that kind of stuff doesn’t seem real. Maybe you hear a really sad story here or there, but you never actually THINK about it. Not until it’s you. I mean, I never did. I always assumed that I was going to have my loved ones here forever, you know? I took them for granted, never appreciated what they did for me. It is not until something is almost taken away from you, that you realize how truly beautiful it is. After I got out of the daze, I told my friends. We cried a lot, ate ice-cream and watched movies. They really helped me though. I don’t know if I could have gotten through this without them. They were my crutch to help me walk when I couldn’t on my own. I am truly grateful for them.

I was mad for awhile. I was angry. I didn’t understand. I wanted to hurt whoever was responsible for this. Crying helped, but I never wanted to cry in front of her. I never wanted to show her how upset this was making me because, after all, it wasn’t me who was sick. I didn’t want to make her feel any worse than she already did. I tried my best to find the good in everything. Even when it seems impossible, I try my best to seek it out. Before my mom had cancer, I would scream and yell at her. Tell her that she was “annoying” for making me make my bed. Once in a while, I may have even said I hated her. If you think about it, life in itself is a gift. We only have so much time. In a way, her cancer has opened my eyes to see how short life can be, and forced me to start appreciating the people I loved.

By: Ryan O’Rourke

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