Age: 16 years old

I felt a lump on my neck and was taken to my pediatrician to be told it was nothing. I got another lump under my armpit. I ignored this lump because I assumed it was like the other one on my neck. Then it happened, I got a lump on my throat and it hurt to the point I had to go to the Emergency Room. While at the ER I had a CT-scan and blood test. The doctor walked in and told my mom and me that he was pretty sure I had Hodgins Lymphoma and to make an appointment with my pediatrician. We made another appointment to the pediatrician to be told it would take two months to get an appointment in Louisville, Kentucky. After a couple of days my boyfriend and his family drove my Mom and me to the Emergency Room at Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. It was there I was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma of Lymph Nodes of Multiple Sites.

I have never been sick in my life other than slight colds. I have never been in a hospital as a patient. This was the most terrifying experience of my life. To hear I had cancer was beyond frightening. After all I was only sixteen- years old.

I found out what it meant to be a cancer fighter. My entire life was interrupted by cancer. I had lots of emotions get in the way but I have had no other choice than to fight. I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I am currently a junior in high school and play clarinet in Mayfield High School Band. I cannot wait to get back to school and get back involved with the band. One day I aspire to be a nurse. I hope to attend nursing school at the University of Kentucky or other university where I might receive financial assistance.

Written by: Jimena