I have introduced you to Jonathan before but wanted you all to read his story from HIM. Please take a minute to read what Jonathan has written and leave him a comment. He is a wonderful and brave young man!
Over a year ago the word Hope really didn't mean that much to me. "I sure hope your mom lets you hang out tonight" or "I hope the test isn't too hard" was pretty much the extent of it. I suppose I just didn't understand how important it was. I was 13, I had my whole life in front of me. I was excelling in school, spent my free time running, skateboarding and with friends. Life was good and I was happy.
I found out I had cancer on my 14th birthday, I wanted to run so far and so fast and just make it all go away but of course I couldn't. So instead I started treatments and began surviving cancer. At first everything I did was out of fear, I was scared to go to treatments and scared not to. Scared to tell my friends and most of all scared of the future. I did get over the fear and became stronger. I had a lot of good days and some bad days. I was fortunate enough to meet an amazing fighter close to my age who was battling the same cancer. We were going to the same hospital and became best friends fast. We went through treatments together, shared stories about life and made plans for our future. Unfortunately my friend did not beat his battle with cancer, his death hit me very hard. I was shattered and what most would call hopeless. Sean Swarner the first Cancer Survivor to summit Everest is quoted saying "You can go a month without food, you can live three days without water, but you can't go more then sixty seconds without HOPE." I can tell you firsthand how very true that is. I had no fight, no strength and my cancer was taking over. I am so grateful for the friends and family that I have in my life and for what they did for me at that time. The constant reminders that I wasn't alone and that I could do this gave me the courage I needed.
A good friend of mine Gena Solar recently posted a blog titled Courage and Cancer. She wrote "Nobody battling cancer has courage every day. We are humans. We have hearts and those hearts feel pain. But it is what we do with our feelings and however we find a way to get through that pain and onto “what” is going to get us to the next step, the next moment in time. That is where courage again sets in." For me it was the words of others that helped me get through the pain. The constant reminder of what I had to accomplish in my life and of who I was.
With this courage my outlook on the fight began to change, instead of dwelling on the pain and being the victim I became the warrior. I allowed my entire being to be filled with HOPE and started to focus on my future and on beating my cancer. I have written down my dreams and everything I plan on doing. I learn as much as I can and share it with anyone willing to listen. I laugh often, cry when it's needed and do my best to turn every bad day into a good one. Surviving cancer is not easy, or fun but it is what I and many others do. We are warriors, armed with Hope and we fight.
-- Jonathan Jay White
"You can go a month without food, you can live three days without water, but you can't go more then sixty seconds without HOPE." -Sean Swarner