On February 15, 2019, I was diagnosed with B-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma at the age of 19 while I was enrolled at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Prior to my diagnosis, I was a typical college student; I went to classes daily, played tennis three times a week, and spent time with friends in my free time. I never imagined that a backache would lead to the discovery of a tumor growing inside my body and ultimately, a cancer diagnosis. Cancer has forced me to mature and grow as an individual.
One of the biggest decisions I made since being diagnosed has been a change in my career goals. Witnessing first-hand the positive impact nurses have on patients, coupled with my passion for making a difference in the lives of others, has inspired me to change my major from elementary education to nursing. As I tirelessly fight lymphoma, I am determined to use my experience to influence the way I care for and treat kids who are undergoing similar battles. Losing my hair was one of the most difficult challenges I faced during my journey. I was afraid to go out in public and was scared that others would judge the way I look. The photo shoot boosted my confidence and allowed my inner beauty to shine through.