This 12-year-old's amazing story of courage will astound you!
For most people, being diagnosed with cancer feels like the end of the world. But for 12-year-old Briana Lopez, it made her love life even more.
For most people, being diagnosed with cancer feels like the end of the world. But for 12-year-old Briana Lopez, it made her love and appreciate life even more.
Little red spots
Briana had these little red spots appear on her skin – petechiae, which are caused by broken blood vessels and a low platelet count. She also complained that she felt tired, but her parents didn’t pay any mind since even Briana admits that she can be a bit dramatic.
However, it all changed when Briana was hit by a soccer ball. Because of the injury, her mother took her to the doctor to get some tests done. They were surprised to receive a call at 3:30 am on the same night, saying that her white blood cell count was extremely high, and that’s when they were told that Briana had cancer, and had to start chemotheraphy right away.
Briana’s home team, composed of her mom; Yanine, dad; Francisco, herself, and her baby sister Leyla, have supported her since she was diagnosed with cancer. Her mother and father both quit their jobs to take care of her full-time while she was in the hospital.
Her parents also motivated her not to get “too comfortable” with the chemotherapy. Whenever she tried to fake being exhausted to get out of tutoring, her parents pushed her to put in the work. They wanted her to be a fighter and not let her cancer become an excuse to stop fighting.
When Briana’s hair started falling out due to the effects of chemotherapy, her grandparents as well as her cousins in Venezuela also supported her. They all cut off their hair and donated it to make wigs for other children that were fighting cancer. Her mother, who had waist-length hair, also cut it off to show solidarity and support for Briana. They were all part of the same team.
Briana has gone through over 100 blood transfusions, 6 rounds of chemo, and has spent over 210 days in the ICU. After enduring all of these challenges, her cancer is finally in remission. She and her family know that the road to recovery is long, but they’re all glad that she’s on her way to being better.
According to Briana, “I feel like this journey has made me appreciate my life more in a way that I wouldn’t have noticed till I was like, 30 or something. Some of my friends are like, ‘Life is so hard, my phone got taken away’, and I just think, ‘OK,’” she said.
She adds, “I wouldn’t want to do anything over again. You see this whole other world in the hospital where life is really hard. People who think going to school is hard or say, ‘I hate going to work,’ just be thankful.”
Putting it in perspective
And she does make a very good point. A lot of us feel like our world is crumbling every time we face something that’s difficult for us to deal with, whether it’s big or small. We need to look at thing in perspective and realize that no matter how insurmountable something may be, we can overcome it.
It’s also important to have a very good support group, just like what Briana’s family did for her. Whenever we see a friend or a relative going through some rough times, it’s important for us to extend a helping hand and make them understand that whatever they’re going through, they’re not alone.
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