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Kaitlyn Francisco, Nu’24

“When I was 13 years old, I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. All of the sudden, my life shifted into a flurry of diagnostic tests and scans until the final biopsy confirmed my cancer.

Whilst in the hospital, I made it my mission to recognize my strength, reconnect with who I was before cancer, and reconcile that with who cancer made me. I learned how to do graphic art using photoshop; and, with all the free time I had, I started my own freelance business and sold my art.

In an attempt to better understand my situation and myself, I observed the nurses who treated me. I noticed how they helped me – not only medically but emotionally. They would remember small details ranging from my cravings for sweets (thus prompting them to buy me doughnuts the next day) to recalling my animosity for sodium chloride. It made me realize how much I valued this amount of diligence, care, and specificity because without it, I would not be who I am today; and, even though I am no longer under their care, they still remember me. These memories guided my life from thereon out and made me realize that what I truly want to become – what I want to strive for after cancer – is a nurse. Just as my nurses had done for me, I want to care and nourish others with my heart and soul. I will even incorporate some art skills I gained during my treatment and introduce it to my future patients, in hopes they will find comfort in it as well.

In the end, even though I am no longer under my nurses’ care, I will always remember them.”