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A Success Story - Brianne Bosworth

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Brianne Bosworth 

Sharing her Success Story at the CSF Gala - April 2007 

Brianne is a sophomore at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas, majoring in education.  Her experience with cancer has given her a strong desire to share the positives of her battle with young children. She has survived Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).  In her own words:

"Have you ever wondered why our most positive lessons in life are often the result of the most negative experiences we face?  There is something in human nature that relishes adversity; something that enables us to rise to greater heights only after we have reached our deepest lows.  This is one reason I believe that for me and other cancer survivors, the sky truly is the limit.

Because I was only seven years old when I was diagnosed with cancer, I didn't consciously spend much time thinking about what life meant - and what it might mean to lose my life.  Cancer was simply a sickness that I needed to get better from so I could go on with school, friends and growing up.  But whether I realized it or not, facing the possibility of my own mortality at such a young age gave me an appetite for life that continues to define my personality today.  For me, it isn't enough to live a 'good' life or even a 'great' life.  I want to chase life down, catch it and devour it!

That realization that life can be so fleeting extends to my family as well.  Although I was the one with cancer, my whole family suffered from the symptoms - sleepless nights, hectic treatment schedules, and sacrificing their own needs to help me recover.  The result was a bond that is difficult to describe.  I know that some families fall apart when cancer attacks, but my family clung together for dear life, and I believe their love was a big reason I beat cancer.  Unlike many college students, I'm not counting the days until I can be 'free' of parental involvement.  I am keenly aware of the value my parents and brother represent to me as I grow into a more mature, independent person.

Some people prefer to put cancer behind them once they are in remission.  For me, cancer represents such an important part of my life that I seek opportunities to revisit it, but in more positive ways.  For example, being a teen counselor for the American Cancer Society's Camp Discovery allows me to share what I've learned with kids who are going through cancer right now.  There is nothing better than knowing that I can take a negative experience and turn it into something that will encourage another person.  It's the ultimate way to beat cancer.  Once I've completed my degree, my eventual goal is to teach children who can't attend school because of illnesses like cancer.  The help I received from tutors during my own battle gave me a strong desire to help others.

My mom likes to tease that the reason I have always wanted to be a second-grade teacher is because that is the year of school I missed due to cancer.  On some level, I think she might be right.  Most of us choose a career to gain something we feel we lack, whether it's financial security, power and position, or even love.  But the most important reason I have for choosing a career in primary education is that I enjoy children.  They are still just as amazed about the world as I am, and just as anxious to get out and experience it.  I'm excited at the prospect of leading such precious packages into the world of learning.

It may seem strange to count having had cancer as a blessing, but I am truly grateful for the experience and for the path my life has taken as a result.  I'm eager to share the lessons I've learned with my future students, and I look forward to gaining an even greater appreciation for what life's experiences can teach me.

Cancer Survivors' Fund has been a role model and positive reinforcement for me.   I am constantly motivated by seeing other successful cancer survivors through the website.  Cancer Survivors' Fund keeps encouraging you and lets you know you are not alone in working toward your goals.  Thank you, Cancer Survivors' Fund, for showing me how I can impact the world.

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