My parents researched and found Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, which seemed to give my mom the best chances. So, we picked up and moved to Seattle — from New York.
At first I was upset about missing my basketball games, missing my friends, and most of all having to share a bedroom with my two brothers in our apartment in downtown Seattle. But my outlook on life quickly changed from that point on. I started at the Hutch School and quickly realized all the different places and backgrounds my classmates came from. There was a girl from Egypt in my class, a boy named North from Alaska and even a kid from New Jersey. Meeting these people helped ease the transition to my new life because they understood what I was going through.
Every day after school, I would walk across to the hospital and go to my mom's room and play cards with her, and every day I would worry she wouldn't be there any more when I arrived. But each time I turned and looked into the room, she was there with her positive, upbeat, goofy self, always making me laugh.
That is what taught me the biggest lesson in life: to always look at the glass half full and be positive no matter what life throws at you. My mom never gave up, and I believe it was her attitude that gave her the strength to fight her battle. We had a happy ending to our story: On Valentines Day this year, my mom will be 18 years cancer free. Without Fred Hutch I would not have my hero and my best friend.