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A Success Story - Jeffery Wuerst

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Jeffery Wuerst

 

Jeff is attending the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, Oregon, majoring in Respiratory Care.  His experience with cancer has helped shape his future profession and his faith.  He is an Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (A.L.L.) survivor.  In his own words:

ďCancer has a way of bring families closer together.  When I was diagnosed with Cancer, my mom's first reaction was to cry.  In the years to follow, my brother became protective of me and helped care for me.  My father and grandmother, who lived in Spokane Washington, drove 8 hours, almost every week, to see me.  My mom made many sacrifices on my behalf so that my childhood went well.  The compassion that my family showed was limitless and I will always be thankful.  This, of all things, has helped shape me into the man I am today.   I love my family for all they endured for me.  There were many hard life lessons that I had to meet and it has helped me find my way in life. 

There are many things in life that a person needs to do, but doesnít want to.  Medicine was so important during the process and it was difficult for me to take it, but there was no way I could go without it.  In the end, I learned it is easier to just do the task than to fight it.  Even today, this lesson has served me well.  People were always showing compassion and kindness to me in my time of need and it has helped me realize the need to continue that tradition.  Friends would cheer me on and teachers would give me extra help.  I had to adapt to the changes in my life.  People were always ready to give me a helping hand when it was needed.

The encounter, with Cancer, may be the reason that I came to God at the age I did.  I realized what death was early in my life and it scared me.  I was raised going to church, but I didnít really understand it until I was about 14.  I started to go to church without resistance and I would understand why I was there.  Today, I'm involved with my church and I help them with sound every Sunday.  It seems like Iím still new in my walk with Jesus, but I grow stronger every day.

My encounter with Cancer has also help determine my career goals.  My
interaction with the hospital has opened up my eyes to the possibilities of patient care.  With the help of my career counselor, I have found a job that I can enjoy and have meaning.    Originally, I thought about Radiology and I pursued it until I came across Respiratory Therapy and changed my major.  The patient interaction was what I needed.  Just like when I had Cancer, I wanted to be the caregiver that put the smile on the patient's face.  I wanted to make the difference.

Cancer was a large milestone in my life.  If I had never had Cancer, my life
would be nothing like it is now.  Mentally and physically, I changed direction on the day that my doctor told my mom that I had cancer.  Three years later, I was changed.  There is no way for me to prove it, but I just know it is true.

God has blessed me in many ways.  I'm excited to get this help with school so that I may give back to the medical field and as much blessing as it is possible for me to return.  Thank you Cancer Survivors' Fund for all your hard work and making it possible to continue my college education!Ē

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