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I want to be extraordinary!

That defining moment

We all have had a moment that has defined our life. It’s that one moment in time - good or bad - that has set the course of our life and defined who we will become. For me, that moment occurred on January 20, 1991. It was the moment that I heard the words “you have cancer.” I was 11-years-old. At the time, I knew little about cancer. To me, cancer was death. This was reinforced when the attending doctor told my parents to take me home and wait for the end. He optimistically told my mom and dad that death, though painful, shouldn’t take long. In fact, he said, it shouldn’t take more than six weeks. We refused to listen to him. We sought a 2nd opinion, and then a 3rd. A rigorous course of chemotherapy was sketched out, as were surgical plans. Over the course of 18 months, I underwent 75 chemo treatments. At first weekly, but over time, became less frequent due to low blood counts. In between chemo, I also had multiple surgical procedures. The first - initially scheduled as a total amputation from the hip down - turned into a limb-saving bone transplant. I spent 3 months in a Spica cast - a cast from my chest to my toes - and another 9 months in a