For my Passion, Information and Change project I chose pediatric cancer. In my first blog post I talked about why I chose to pursue childhood cancer. I also talked about the scary statistics that unfortunately pierce the hearts of children, teens and their family every single day.
For my original research I decided to do an interview. When I recieved my project I knew exactly what I wanted to do for my original research. That was to interview the student at SLA Beeber who I introduced you to in my first blog post. I didn't want to Direct Message her but after a few emails and phone calls I was able to schedule an interview for the following Friday.
All week I was so eager to meet someone who had gone through so much. The Thursday before the interview I was preparing my questions and thinking of what I should say and what I shouldn't; I was scared the conversation would be very emotional so I had disclaimers.
It was finally interview day and I decided to leave school early so I could get to the interview on time. When I got to the Starbucks on the campus of Saint Joseph's University I was scared the girl I was meeting was going to be in bad spirits.
As I sat and waited for the girl to enter the Starbucks I looked at some videos of other people interviewing cancer patients then, about two minutes into my first video the young lady by the name of Aliya Rouine walked into the door.
When Aliya came over to me and hugged me she said ¨oh this is awkward¨. A huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. She was smiling and laughing with me and her friend, whom she had brought for support. She was a normal teenager.
Aliya story starts in late December 2014 when she became very ill but didn't know what it was, so she went to the doctor to go get it checked out. The doctor thought she had the flu until a few weeks later she began to have trouble breathing and went to the hospital where they told her she had pneumonia. Since pneumonia is a symptom of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (A.L.L) they tested her for it. Sadly the results came back positive.
Aliya just like anyone who was told they had cancer said she was really scared. One thing that stuck with me was that she was more happy she knew what was making her sick. For me, I wouldn't want to know that something inside me can take over my body.
I was very interested in how she changed and the people around her. Aliya said the people around her have become nicer to her. She said people she don't even know say hello to her because ¨maybe they feel bad¨. She also told me that her family has become closer. Not only have her family become closer but her family and friends have been very supportive.
Since she was diagnosed she said she became more grateful and sympathetic towards people and what they are going through. I asked Aliya what she thought about people who take things for granted and she said ¨ they need to think harder about what they are thankful for because you're life can change in an instant¨.
Over 35,000 children are currently being treated for cancer, sadly 25% of those children will die. Thankfully, Aliya's form of cancer is treatable. Aliya will be finished with her chemotherapy in October but will have to take a pill everyday for the next few years. Researchers have been on a great road to curing A.L.L, they have raised survival rates from 4 percent 50 years ago to 94 percent today.
Cancer not only affects you, but it affects your family emotionally and financially. Families are usually financially depleted.
This interview made me learn that people who are sick are just like everyone else. I learned to not take things for granted and to cherish every single moment because no matter how old you are your life can change in an instant.
To listen to my Full Interview Click Here!
To see My Annotated Bibliography Click Here!