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Timothy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     I anxiously wait as the elevator takes me to where two worlds will intertwine. The duffel bags filled with clothing and toiletries for my brother become cumbersome. As I exit the elevator, I immediately inhale the aroma of hospital supplies and cafeteria food. I sense pain and suffering as I walk past the rooms of patients, hearing their cries of misery.

My heart throbs rapidly because I know that just a few doors down my brother Timothy also lies confined in a white-walled, sterile room, attached to IVs that pump antibiotics into his body.

I enter the anteroom, where I put on a hospital gown, a face mask, shoe covers, and gloves to reduce his exposure to germs. As I enter, I see him resting, recovering from his second bone marrow transplant. The summer before junior year, this hospital was my second home. This room served as our family’s dining room, emitting the smell of my mother’s home-cooked chicken potpie and overflowing with my summer school assignments.

When the summer passed and the school year arrived, there was less opportunity to be at the hospital, but I was determined to make time for visits. The dilemma between visiting my brother and schoolwork has turned into a balancing act.

As I support him, his strength grows, and in turn he encourages me in my academics. These visits are no longer a sacrifice but are times when both of us gain tremendous strength over what seem to be insurmountable obstacles. I scan this familiar room and observe that, as the weeks pass, not only have the once-dull walls transformed into a collage of brightly colored drawings imparting hope to Room 750, but I too am adapting to my rigorous schedule.

Although the first bone marrow transplant failed and could have potentially taken his life, fortunately, Timothy was given a second chance when my sister became his donor. While he recuperates, my parents, siblings, and I sit by his bedside day and night offering support. As the new marrow travels through his body destroying the old, Timothy endures excruciating pain but feels comfort in our presence.

New hope flows through me, and I too am rejuvenated. My own fatigue subsides, allowing me to focus on keeping my academic standards high. During my brother’s 104-day hospitalization, I watch his spirit revive, enabling me to be strengthened too. In his absence, my responsibilities grow as I take on the role of oldest brother. I willingly provide a strong shoulder for my younger brother and an even stronger one for my sister to cry on during such an emotional time.

This experience has been an opportunity for personal growth. By observing Timothy I have learned that through hard work and dedication, success can be achieved. I know that I am capable of attaining even greater achievements through adversity.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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