Ryana's Want To Help | Teen Ink

Ryana's Want To Help

October 20, 2013
By Regiah Taylor, Richmond, Virginia
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Regiah Taylor, Richmond, Virginia
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Author's note: I just wanted to let people see that there is a bright side to cancer. Not bright as having cancer is good but there can be some good to come out of cancer itself.

There has to be something going on the other sides of the clouds because the weather here in Seattle is ridiculous. We get tons of rain and like an ounce of sun every day. That doesn’t stop me from going to school though.

I swear the trip there is as long as Odysseus’ Journey. But I have to walk a whole mile in a half just to get to one bus stop of two. After I get on my first bus it takes 30 minutes initially to get to the bus that takes me to school. Then when I finally arrive at school my Chemistry teacher always says, “Ahh, Miss Chesternut nice seeing you here,” like i didn’t go to school every day.

My name is Ryana Trenice Chesternut. My parents called me Ryan, my little brother calls me Yana, and most of my friends call me Chestnut. But Mr. Uttersmithe is the only one who calls me my last name.

In school I have 2 best friends. They are Jessika Dillard and Rahim Peckerson. They are the definition of awesome. We’ve known each other for a long time.
Jessika is older than all of us, she is 17 Rahim and I am 16. I met Jessika in elementary school when some kids were forcing erasers up her nose. I know it sounds weird but the bullies were so much tinier than her, like mini trolls attacking the giant Sasquatch. I decided to stick up for Jessika because what the bullies were doing was pointless. Instead of the happy ending I thought was going to happen I realized I should never underestimate short people, they have lots of surprises. Their strength was ridiculous, but long story short we both ended up getting erasers pulled out of our noses by the nurse and ever since then the bond has never been so close, it’s like you never know someone until you get erasers pulled out of your noses together.
Rahim, now I and he have sort of a romantic history. Jessika and I went to a party and he was so chill and laid back. Then he was gorgeous, I had to introduce myself. He held the longest conversation about nothing for the longest time. He wasn’t even drinking or smoking that’s the coolest cool in my book. He was perfect but then the moment was perfect I went in for a kiss but on the sneak like I was whispering something in his ear we kissed. It felt like life in my eyes. Then we started going out, I saw the real him. He was a funny jerk. The complete opposite of me, that’s when I decided that friends would be the best fit for the both of us, He was cool with it and ever since then we’ve been tight.
In school I do a lot of extracurricular activities. I play almost every sport to stay healthy and active. I play volleyball and I’m in Charity Club. I’m in the cub but I don’t really do much, it looks nice on my transcript though.


When I got home my mom was making dinner, fruit salad, fries, and turkey, my favorite struggle dinner. Dad is sitting at the table just reading what I think is a sports magazine. My little brother, Gianni, is being his annoying yet incredibly smart self. Now myself, I just kept calm in my little corner bench in the kitchen window before they invited me to join the pack at the table. I mean I love being around my family it’s just around the table they are crazy, like completely different people crazy.

My mom for starters called me “Ryana” so I knew something was up or she was hiding something. Either way it was weird. Then she motioned me to the table as she was putting dinner out.

Then you have my dad lurking from the side of my newspaper to see if anyone has touched their food yet. I swear he is so weird. Then he asks me how school was hoping I give him an interesting answer instead of, “Ehh, school was school.” But he was wrong. Then with that sad puppy dog look on his face he looked at my mom and called her something probably cute but gross in my opinion because well, you know, that’s my mom. But my dad is honestly so sweet to my mom. She’s just so childish. Which is where I’m suspecting my little brother gets it from.


Lately I’ve notice strange things happening to me but I shake them off. Like this rash-like thing on my arm. It itches then it just stops. Don’t really think anything much from it, maybe a little poison ivy. Then in practice I fell down, nothing major but few days later I noticed a lump. I decided that after I come home from practice I’d tell my mom.

So I go in the house and look for mom. She was sitting in the dining room reading some lame piece of literature. I asked her what she thought this lump was on my leg and she said that it wasn’t much, nothing to worry about. That’s when I remembered that my doctor’s visit results haven’t come back yet. I asked my mom about them and she tells me that she hasn’t checked the mail in a few days. I’m thinking, “ DAYS?! Who leaves the mail unattended for so long?” I decide to go and check them mail and the mailbox was stuffed. I saw the results envelope and took all the mail in the house. Then I handed the results to my mom. She didn’t open them up yet, when I asked her why she didn’t she said she was in the middle of something and will look at it later.

Later hit and my mom started to open the results, after she took a sip of her coffee. She read, flipped through the pages, she looked flustered, flabbergasted. She looked at me, wasn’t a regular look, it was a pity look. I hate when she gives me that look. She dropped the papers and started crying. I didn’t know what was going on, what happened. I just needed to find out what was on those papers. I picked up the papers and skimmed. I saw my name other, big words I couldn’t really make of, and cancer, and leukemia.

I understood everything now, my sudden pains, my weird lumps, everything. It was all signs of leukemia. I mean I guess I could get treated, but if that had happened my brother wouldn’t have his college fund. But where else would the money come from? I couldn’t let that happen. Everything was about to change. It would all be my fault. Reality hit me, hard as hail.

The rest of the night was silent. Well, other than the crying my mother did. My dad had no words. I decided this had to stop. I walked into their room and told them straight up, “This is what was chosen for me, there is no need to try and stop it. Just let it happen, don’t worry.” My mom looked up in confusion and asked, “What are you saying Ryana? You don’t want to get treatments? You’ll die.”, then she sobbed some more. “Mom, that’s exactly what I’m saying. I know it’s hard. You have the authority to do whatever, I know this. I also know if you don’t listen to me and if things go wrong even after the treatment, I’d be dying doing something I didn’t want to do.” I let those words go and left the room with my head held high.

I didn’t even know a lot about the type of leukemia I had either. I had acute Myelogenous Leukemia. I researched a little and found out that the cancer is affecting my little healthy white blood cells, called myelocytes. Then with the acute part of the leukemia it gets worst and I may start to feel sick right away, I’m just hoping it’s not right away. I don’t really know what’s going on through my head at the moment. I know that in time of crisis I’d usually be freaking out. Guess reality is taking less effect than I thought it would.

I told my friends about my cancer. Their reactions weren’t what I thought they’d be. When I told Jessika she thought I was joking then she punched me, fairly hard. Then she said how am I going to make it last. I really was expecting her to burst in tears. Now Rahim, he shed a tear but wiped it in seconds. He just asked me how much time I had left, and I couldn’t answer. When I see them in school they don’t bring it up, I guess nobody really likes to talk about it. I’m fine with it.
My mom finally stopped crying but she insists I should get treatments, but she knows I’m not budging. She keeps saying that there’s hope, and we just need to try. I see me having cancer as an expedition in some weird way. It’s like I can do what I can in the amount of time I have before I have no time left. I kind of just want to make a difference. It’s not like I’m going to make a huge, “oh I’ve changed the world,” difference, but a small difference.
I’ll host a large yard sell and sell all of my good stuff. My electronics, my clothes, my furniture if that isn’t enough. Why stop there I can host a fundraiser, too. But what am I fundraising? I’ll fundraise for cancer, kids with leukemia. Then to also help find a cure for the cancer. There’s no reason for me to be hopeless, there’s always something I can do.
The whole week I’ve prepared for my “Yard Sale for a Cure” and I think it’ll really pull through. I told many people about it and what the funds were going to be contributed to. I had many donations for the yard sale. My mom and dad took that opportunity to go through some things and clean up a bit, they donated a large glass coffee table and a fuse ball table. My little brother donated his old toys. My friend Rahim donated his old laptop, which was in great shape, and his bike that he’s probably ridden maybe three times. My friend Jessika donated all her old books, her NFL New York Giants Jersey, and her old sweaters and purses. I had a lot of other donations as well. I had Wal-Mart donate a Sony Flat-screen Television. I had Target donate gift-cards. I had the store Bath and Body Works provide many lotions and perfumes. I had DTLR, a shoe store; donate the latest pair of Jordans. I have everything in order and everything categorized. I have three sections for everything. I have my electronics in one area, my clothes and my furniture and then I’d have all my donations in another. Only thing I’ve sold are myself 3 pairs of Solo Beats, by Dr. Dre, Headphones, my Acer Tablet, my old IPod, all my jewelry, and some pretty skirts and shoes. By the end of the yard sale we’ve made $7,678.46 for leukemia. I decided that next week I’d try to convince my school to help with the fundraising and have a huge bake sale event.
I talked to my principal about my idea. I told him that maybe I could get more sponsors and other donators to help out. Then I told him it would be a great way for student to get their community service hours as well. He was very attentive once I told him that. Finally he agreed to my idea and said that we could have the event in a few weeks. I went on and made flyers for the event and I’ve posted flyers for the event. Then I told people about it at lunch. I gave flyers to all the clubs, sports teams, and teachers. I was so dedicated to this event.
I went home and told my mom about the event and she was excited as well. I told my dad and he asked if parents could help out. I thought that would be a great idea. I was thinking that that would make the bake sale even larger.
I talked with the principal again and she wasn’t as enthusiastic about the idea as I was. She said that the idea would be nice but we won’t be sure about what the parents put in the food. She knows that many wouldn’t try to harm us with the food but there are some people in the world that would try to do those kinds of things. She later explained to me that the process of the sale would take a long time if we were to hold it at school and that maybe a park would be a better situation, because all the food would need to be prepared at the school and that would take a long time. That’s when I decided that the event was going to be held at a local park and I’d just make new flyers and hand them out with that new information on them.
The week of the bake sale was here but unfortunately, my body wasn’t up to the challenge. I started feeling weak, and just sick, beyond your worst cold or fever sick for that matter. My mom took me to the hospital. I’m pretty sure they injected me with a few things, to try and make me feel better but nothing was accomplished. I was just very sleepy. I dosed off many times, I guess it was almost time for me to go. The next time I woke up everyone was there, my mom and my dad and brother, all of my family and friends. I guess they knew it was that time as well. They all told me they loved me as soon as I opened my eyelids. But I had some things to say as well:

“Family and friends, I love you all so dearly, with all of my heart you should say. Don’t let me passing slow you down in any type of way. Death is something that I can’t stop, but it didn’t stop me I couldn’t just stop for death. I didn’t really think of it until now. I just thought of all the positive things that kept me off the ground. Everything that I’ve done is more than a good deed. It will help many other people so the world has a little more peace. I am not scared to die guys. I just want you to know, even when I die I’m still alive, an inspiration for your souls…”
Souls was the last word I could get out, hopefully they knew I had much more to say. Then I knew I passed because I’ve seen a light and I felt relieved, not like me leaving my family and friends is relieving but no pain, not feeling sick relieved. I feel great, just knowing the last thing I did will help a person who is in my situation and has leukemia.

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This book has 9 comments.

william said...
on Nov. 10 2013 at 12:17 pm
Your story is okay. I liked it. Nice and touching. Can tell it took you a while to think of eveeything.

on Nov. 10 2013 at 12:15 pm
Man this story is soooooo deep. How did you come up with this, you have to have been writing for a while. I showed my friend this stry and his sensitive self shedded like a million tears. I had to get him out of his feelings LOL. This can be an inspiring movie if you fix it up.

on Nov. 10 2013 at 12:14 pm
I find your story inspirational. It did touch me, I honestly cried.

Jessieka said...
on Nov. 10 2013 at 12:12 pm
I didn't like your story. I think it will make people feel offended in ways. Why wouldn't her parents let her get treated? That seemed irrelavant to me.

Gerald said...
on Nov. 10 2013 at 12:10 pm
This is a deep story. Really meant a lot to me becaue my cousin tried to help people with his cancer as well.

Tia the Poet said...
on Nov. 10 2013 at 12:09 pm
Im a poet. I just wanted to say that my friend has cancer and she had leukemia too but this story is remarkable. Ryana is like my hero. My friend didn't have enough money for treatments so she decided that she just live the life that she had left. She didn't think far enough outside the box to try to help others, I am not putting her down it's just that this is a very deep story. That made me think and appreciate more.

Patty G said...
on Nov. 10 2013 at 12:06 pm
I am an experienced writer. I major in English. I feel that this story is okay. You obviously are not experienced, but you have great insight and have real taste in detail orienting. You decribe event so well, what ever you used to reference you writing styles and techniques you should follow through on that more. Maybe even twice as hard, then look for more ways to structure the story. I say that because here there is only one chapter. I see many ways that this could've been more that one, I see maybe 8 chapters in this 'LONG" chapter. Other than that bravo.

Raine L said...
on Nov. 10 2013 at 12:02 pm
I like this story. It is really sad but a good story. You should have proofread more than once, I think. there are many capitalization errors.

Dylan Reeves said...
on Nov. 10 2013 at 12:00 pm
I think that the story itself is amazing. I grew teary eyed toward the end. I think toward the ending it is jumbled but I understand the clause you are trying to make. I notice that there are many errors, grammar, tense wise, and punctuation. I only notice that in the first 4 paragraphs. Other than that great story.  (I can tell of your writing by some run off sentences, that you are a amateur. You did an outstanding job throughout.)