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A Success Story - Samantha Bigley

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Samantha Bigley 

Samantha is a 2010 graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri, majoring in Liberal Arts.  Samantha's experience with cancer has shown her the value of a college education, and she hopes to aid others on their road of success and happiness.   She is an Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (A.L.L.) survivor.  In her own words:

ďEight years, two months and three days ago I officially finished two and a half years of chemotherapy.  I was considered to be in remission and it felt great.  My hair was fuzzy and beginning to grow back as the scars formed from my surgeries.  Life was different.   I looked like every other sixth grader on the play ground, but yet was still very different.  It wasnít the fact that I had seen lots of doctors, been poked with needles or lost my hair, it was that I could proudly say I won the battle of childhood cancer.

Growing up in a small town, all my friends, classmates and community knew about my treatment.  My teachers were supportive and my classmates were encouraging with monthly packages filled with get well cards.  My friends still make sure and ask if I received a good report from the doctor on my annual visits.   
Being a cancer patient taught me to be thankful for everything in my life.  Rather than being sad and upset about my diagnoses, it gave me a greater and more valuable outlook on life.  I am so thankful for every experience and aspect of my life. I donít take anything in my life for granted:  being able to attend school, spending time with my family, and playing softball.  Even though I donít get to be with my family a lot, being away from home, I love the time I spend with them.   I enjoy making others laugh and bringing smiles to their faces.  The ability to be able to smell fresh cut grass, rain or spotting rainbows are things not everyone is blessed with, I am so thankful for overcoming a life threatening disease.

While receiving treatment, my doctors were knowledgeable of the disease trying to take over my body.  They knew about cell structure, symptoms, steroids, chemotherapy and many other different things.  In order for them to help me achieve my goal of being a cancer survivor, each nurse and doctor had received a college degree and was each educated in the medical field.  Without their college degrees, neither nurses nor doctors would know what steps to take to treat this life threatening disease.  Knowing this information, I made it a priority to further my education following high school.  After conquering my goal of battling childhood cancer, my next goal was to be successful in my lifetime.  I am currently studying to reach my associates' degree and then plan to continue on at a four year university and receive my bachelor degree.  Although my major is currently undecided, I am sure that I want to help others just as my doctors and nurses had assisted me through my rough times.  I hope to be a successful young woman aiding others to their road of success and happiness.

Since I was younger I have always participated in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.  This year I gave a speech at our local event.  This summer I helped at Ozarks Camp Quality.  Camp Quality is a non-profit organization for kids who have had or are going through cancer. 

To be able to help and encourage other cancer patients is an honor.  I am proud of the obstacles I have conquered as a person.  It is a tremendous privilege to call myself a cancer survivor.  Thank you Cancer Survivors' Fund for this great opportunity!  I love receiving my encouraging emails and books to help me look forward to the upcoming school year.  Thank you Cancer Survivors' Fund for everything you all have done on my behalf!Ē

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