Young people are our best teachers

Close FOF friend, Mary Ann, had a niece named Sara, who died about 15 years ago of leukemia. Sara was 17 and had been sick since she 13. Sara never felt sorry for herself throughout the ordeal, graduated high school from her bed and was a wonderful sister to her little brothers. She was an inspiration to every adult around her.

Mandi Schwartz

I read today about 22-year-old Yale hockey player, Mandi Schwartz, who also has leukemia that is threatening her young life. She’s had the disease for two years and went into remission after a stem-cell transplant, but the cancer returned. Now she is back home in Canada. Before her transplant last fall, she wrote to her teammates: “I’m praying every day for everything to work out, and I know you are all thinking about me and praying for me–thank you very much–your support means the world to me.”

Sick children hurt my heart, but their resilience and naturally positive attitudes should teach us all a lesson. They don’t lay around moaning and groaning, because they have things to do and an excitement about living.

The next time you start to bellyache about a twitch here, a pain there, think of all the young people in hospitals who may not live till their 10th birthday. Even if I was diagnosed with a fatal illness, I’d figure out a way to deal with it. No one said it’s easy, but what’s our alternative?

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One Response to “Young people are our best teachers”

  1. Duchesse says:

    I worked for some years in hospitals and was always both devastated and heartened by illness in the young. The good news is that they are so much more resilient and recover much faster than adults and certainly elders. I have enormous respect for the medical and health care staff who work with young patients.

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