I Believe in Second Chances

The picture above shows what seems to be a never ending lake resembling the never ending hope I was given through my second chance at living.

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I Believe in Second Chances
By: Andrea Trevino

I was given a second chance to live for a reason. I’m not saying that I’m going to become a famous actress or discover the cure for cancer but I believe that my mission in life to do something great. Although I was very young during my first encounter with a serious illness, almost approaching death changed me in a way that I cannot explain and few understand. I have a perspective of life that many people do not have and I believe that because of this I am here to remind people how precious life is and to help save others.
I almost died at Disney World. When I was eight years old, I went on a family vacation to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. As we arrived there I did not show any emotions instead I had a blank look on my face. I did not hate Disney World; I was just not myself for some reason. Soon enough my family and I went to a theme park and eventually I got my first of many strange nose bleeds. These nosebleeds were not like any other nosebleed; the blood would never stop gushing out no matter how hard I tried to stop them. I never really felt “sick” though. As the week progressed my nose would bleed every day and my parents began to notice enormous bruises and pink dots all over my body. My parents finally decided to call the doctor. The hotel doctor arrived and looked at me and told my parents that I should be in the hospital immediately, little did they know I had been sick with absolutely no symptoms for a really long time already and I was at the point where my condition was ready to kill me.
I arrived to the first hospital where they immediately had a wheelchair set up for me and had called an ambulance to transfer me to another hospital because they did not have an efficient way to take care of me. However they did take the chance to insert an IV in my left arm. Having an enormous fear of needles, I think I might have fainted because I have no recollection of the ambulance or ever switching hospitals. Finally I awoke in the new hospital in wing where my parents said there were children with cancer. The doctors were pretty sure that I had leukemia but they were wrong. Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) was the disease destroying me. However I was not diagnosed with this condition right away. ITP is a rare blood disorder in which ones antibodies attack their platelets causing them to not be able to stop bleeding if wounded. My platelet level was dangerously low, so low they knew that my chances of living were not high at all. I wouldn’t respond to any of the medications I was given and everything seemed hopeless. I remember that perfectly. Every time a new medication began to flow through my IV, I’d begin to start to shake uncontrollably. Finally though, after all that intensive care in the hospital, I lived.
I don’t know what saved me but I do know that having this disease changed who I was forever. I appreciate everything that’s around me, try to spread awareness about this disease and help out with blood drives. I have saved several lives already by donating blood four times. Because I have been blessed with a second chance to live, I believe that I am here to do something great.