Some people may ask themselves why bad things happen to good people. My cousin, Collin, proved that even through the worst times, staying positive is very important. Also, my Aunt Karen showed a great deal of strength in the hardest times. Being diagnosed with an illness having no cure is devastating news. My thirteen year old cousin was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease at a very young age. His mother never felt bad for herself or got enraged because she was given a very hard cross to bear. She always remains faithful and hopeful for the future. I believe that Collin has gotten his happiness and humor from my aunt. This disease has no cure yet, and children struggling with this disease will most likely need a kidney transplant sometime in their life. His disease has greatly influenced his physical health, but has not damaged his emotional health.
Collin and my aunt’s unwavering courage is what instilled hope in my family's hearts. In January, the came time for Collin to need a kidney transplant. This kidney was to come from his mother, Aunt Karen. The night before his surgery, I brought him a care package with games and toys for him to play with after the surgery. As i walked through the hospital, I felt the cool air condition and smelt the crisp air. He was so grateful for the gifts, and he did not show fear on his face despite the very risky surgery he and his mother were about to go through the following day. I brought religious necklaces for myself and my friends to wear the week of his surgery. The feeling of wearing the necklace was a constant reminder to pray for him throughout the days. I was at school the day of his surgery, and I had my mom email updates on my cousin and my aunt. My aunt did very well with her surgery, but my cousin was not doing so well. His body was not responding to the donated kidney, and he was not able to be woken up because he was very fragile. When he was not doing well, Saint Ann held a rosary for all of his family and friends to come together and pray. I was very touched by everyone who showed up, and truly believe in the power of prayer. His body took about a week to respond to the kidney and for him to be able to be closed up. I think his strong personality is what made him so strong to fight for his life. I am surprised at how a thirteen year old can inspire someone older. Through this event, I thought about how much my aunt has influenced my life. I realized that she is my role model in life at the moment. She has made me realize that helping other people is a very rewarding quality in life. Every year, a walk is held for everyone in the area struggling with PKD. My family attends every year to support Collin and his family. This year, Collin had gained enough strength after all the surgeries to walk with us in the walk. I was so proud that he had recovered and has fought everyday.
People may think about how hard his life must be to deal with an awful disease, but Collin does not complain about anything. He does not give his parents a hard time about taking medicines, and he allows his parents to give him his shots daily without a problem. I look to Collin and my aunt as an inspiration because he does not have pity for himself, and he accepts the challenges given to him. My aunt does not gloat about how she gave up her kidney, or feel bad for herself. She has always walked around with a smile on her face, and she is always kind to everyone. When events seem to be impossible, I always believe that lessons and inspiration can occur even during the worst times.