One Door Closes, another Opens

When One Door Closes, another Opens



It was once quoted that, “You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.” It is easy to have dreams, but the rarity of an individual’s dreams becoming a reality lie within their ability to make them come true. Some are fortunate enough to have them happen, some have them thrust upon them, and some have to work for their dreams. Either way, we are the ones who have the power to make dreams reality.

            Growing up in a family of five, being the youngest of three girls was always a challenge for me. I would watch my sister’s success in school and sports and tell myself that I wanted to be just like them, if not, better. Striving for excellence in everything I do has been instilled in me since I was a child. Always wanting to beat records in athletics and academics, constantly setting the bar higher than imaginable was and will always be my way of life.

At age fourteen I was told that I had fractured two of the discs in my lower spine and it had affected the nerves so much that if I continued to play volleyball I would never walk again. After my parents took me to three different spine specialists only to hear the same verdict, I had just about given up. I was not upset about not being able to walk, I was upset at the fact I would not be able to play. If there was a way I could play through the pain I would, which is exactly what I did. I continued my physical therapy visits and just kept reminding myself that there are always worse things that could happen. In life, there are always worse things. Like my grandfather, who was diagnosed and passed away with pancreatic cancer in 2006.

The man who taught me so many life lessons and was a huge part of my life was now gone. I had spent the next two and half years mad at the world and somehow taught myself to hide my emotions and to never get attached to anything or anyone. In losing someone that meant so much to me and instilled many of the characteristics that made me who I am today, I grew a passion for medicine. I took an anatomy class in school and researched the internet for diseases and how they become what they are, I watched television shows on medical discoveries and the piece of information that has influenced my life the most; there has been no discovery of a cure to cancer. It was then that I knew what I wanted to go to school for and how I could impact the world.

In my opinion, going through the death of a loved one at a young age is just as hard as going through it when you are an adult. Some say that when you are a young adult or a child, you do not really comprehend serious things like death, money, and “adult” life. Witnessing one of the greatest people in my life pass away was the hardest thing by far that I have ever gone through. As a family, we grew stronger, but also as an individual I grew stronger mentally and emotionally. From my back problem, to the emotional down fall my family went through, I learned how to become more mature than my peers and others at my age. As much as I wish that my grandfather never passed away I always continue to look at the brighter side and realize that it did do many positive things for me instead of negative.

So here I am today, still walking and pain free. I am attending Ball State University as a volleyball student athlete and continuing my quest to make a difference in the world. I am the only student athlete to graduate out of my high school and district, Plainfield School District 202, with unbroken records and be on a varsity sport all four years. I was Female District 202 athlete of the year through my freshman and senior year. I was announced Most Valuable Player of the conference as a senior and made the all conference team each of the four years. I was a member of the high honor roll for academics all four years of high school and graduated in the top twenty percent of my class and received gold cords for being a member of the National Honors Society.

None of my accomplishments would have been possible if it were not for my family and all of the obstacles I had to overcome. Dealing with a fractured spine and the loss of a family member was just the start of my learning. Throughout everything, I have persevered and truly learned the essence of hard work and determination. I know my dreams will become a reality someday because I will continue to raise the bar and work to be a doctor who will find cures for diseases, which will help relieve families from having to feel the way I felt when my grandfather passed.