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Inspirational Stories


non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)

I want to share my story about the day I was told the dreaded three words, "You have cancer," and how my life changed forever. I was diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) during my freshman year of college three years ago. I had started noticing symptoms including chest pain and fatigue, and I was constantly sick. I was continually going to the hospital with various infections and illnesses. It wasn't until days after I experienced what I now know was a minor heart attack in my dorm and was completely out of breath that my close friend brought me to the hospital where a CT scan revealed the cancer had progressed significantly throughout my body.

I quickly had to leave my very supportive university and friends to experience what I call the most challenging, yet eye-opening, time of my life. I was only 19, faced with the possibility of death, losing my hair, and witnessing other families being affected by this horrible disease. I made a promise to myself that I would not let this adversity hinder me. If I survived, I would make a difference in the cancer community in any way that I could.

Now, I am nearly three years cancer-free, 22 years old, and I have graduated from college with a bachelor's degree in Communication with a focus on Marketing. I am working towards a career with a cancer non-profit in my area. I hope that I can live to see a future where no one has to hear the words "you have cancer" as I did on February 19, 2021. I will do anything necessary to help make strides towards this vision.

Young blond woman in a cap and gown, green stole and platform shoes