"Life is short so live each moment like it is your last. Don’t take anything for granted and always tell the ones you love that you love them." - Haley
If there is one thing in the world you could change, what would it be and how would you do it?
I would change that there is no direct cure for cancer. I would do this by advocating for more funding for cancer research.
Where do you see yourself 5 years after graduation?
I see myself working as a pediatric oncology nurse helping kids who are in similar situations that I was in.
Why did the chicken cross the road?
To get to the other side
What makes you happy?
Spending time with my friends and family and accomplishing my goals.
Listening to Luke Bryan, also.
What type of cancer were you diagnosed with and when?
Burkitt’s Lymphoma in July 2015
How did the diagnosis of cancer rock your world?
It changed my outlook on life. I now see that life can change when you least expect it to, so it is important to not take anything for granted.
Describe the process of getting back into life after treatment.
After treatment, I went back to school to finish my senior year of high school. It was hard going back at first, as I was scared that everyone would look at me different than they had before. After my first day though, I felt comfortable and it felt good to be back into my regular daily routine. Additionally, I started cheerleading again. My team competed at nationals in Florida and I was so happy I was healthy enough to be cheering there with them.
How has overcoming cancer made you stronger?
I know that since I overcame cancer, I can overcome anything. I am more motivated to push myself in everything I do.
Many people aren’t familiar with the financial, physical, and emotional toll when treatment is over. Describe your process of recovery after treatment spiritually, emotionally, and financially.
Spiritually and emotionally, I have days where I get survivors guilt. I ask myself why I made it while other kids and adults do not. I also have days where I just get upset for no reason. I just think about the fact that I had cancer and I start crying. Financially, my family is still paying medical bills and it makes it difficult to pay for other necessities.
What does it mean to have a support community during cancer treatment?
Community support is honestly what helped me get through my treatments. Every time I would be feeling down, I would look on social media and see comments that people had left me encouraging me to keep pushing. My friend put on a fundraiser for me at the beginning of my treatments and so many people from the community came out to support.
What does it mean to receive scholarship money to help you achieve your academic goals?
It means so much to receive scholarship money. Because of medical bills, it is difficult for my family to pay for college so scholarship money really is what will help me over the next few years.
How has the MHH scholarship helped you?
I will use this scholarship to help me pay for my college tuition to help me reach my goal of becoming a nurse.
Top 3 things you are grateful for since remission.
Top 3 life goals (places you’d like to visit, things you want to do, etc.)
Advice for other young adult cancer survivors.
Get involved in things to help raise awareness for cancer, don’t be afraid to tell your story, stay active to keep your mind off of things!
Biggest take-away(s) from your cancer experience.
Life is short so live each moment like it is your last. Don’t take anything for granted and always tell the ones you love that you love them.
Words to live by.
Life has its ups and downs, but no matter what things will always get better in the end.
More info on Haley's Hero Powers here.
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