Learning To Help This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   I can describe my father as if he were sitting next to me. I remember his smile, his eyes, and his dark curly hair. I also recall my father taking his medication and following the doctor's strict diet. One day I asked him, "Why do you take those pills, Daddy?" He looked into my eyes and said, "Nothing to worry about, sweetie." Not long after that my father passed away.

I was nine years old when he died. Since I was young, my mother did not explain why my father had died. Years later, my mother told me he had a heart attack caused by diabetes. I always wondered why he had left me; he was young and strong.

My life changed after my father's death. I wondered if I could do something to help people like my father. I promised that I would aid people suffering from diseases like diabetes. This is my mission, my sole purpose in life.

During the summer of 1996, I participated in the High School Health Careers Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School as a means to accomplish my mission. I spent four weeks at the Worcester State campus and travelled every morning to the University of Massachusetts Medical School. There I took three classes, biology, math, and communications. After lunch, I interned with a cardio-thoracic surgeon. I observed several bypass surgeries. Once a week I went to the cardiac clinic and talked to recovering patients. This was the most fascinating part of my internship because I saw the other side of medicine: the relationship between patient and doctor.

My four weeks at the school have been embedded in me. I met people who were in the "battle" I would soon join - against disease. I learned how some diseases can be stopped before they start, by turning off the gene that carries the information. With new

medical techniques, I hope to help those in need.

I hope when I become a doctor, I can find a cure for diabetes. When I fulfill my purpose, I will know that another child will not go through the ordeal of losing a family member to diabetes. tf

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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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 10 at 8:57 am
i love this so much!
jonas_chic899 said...
Apr. 4, 2010 at 9:21 am
that was gooooooooooood. n congrats on it gettin published:) i hope a cure is found soon
AnneOnnimous replied...
Apr. 4, 2010 at 5:36 pm
I have diabetes- type 1, which is probably not what your dad died of. he probably had type 2 which is a lot different. That is caused mostly by aging and being lazy, pretty much. the type I have is harder to deal with. I got it when I was 1, so my parents had to inject their little baby with needles for me to survive. I nearly died when I got it, because nobody belueved i could have it.
LifeInTechnicolour This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 10, 2011 at 5:17 pm
Please, be respectful. This girl lost her father. Don't go telling her that it's mostly caused by people aging and being lazy, and don't go belittling what her dad had. You didn't know him or his situation.
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