On April 4th, I volunteered at Loma Linda Hospital and I asked the Child Life Assistant if there were any teen patents I could talk to. She said there were three patients, and she gave me their room numbers and I went to visit them. Before I visited the patients in their rooms. I introduce myself and tell them I am a cancer survivor and ask if they want to talk or want anything from the playroom.
The first patient I went to visit was asleep, and the second patient had his mother in his room with him. I asked him if he felt like talking or wanted something from the playroom and he said no, but thanks anyway. The third patient I visited was a young adult, and I introduced myself and when I told him I was a cancer survivor, he wanted to know more about my story.
I told him I had knee cancer two times when I was a teenager. I said I did my chemotherapy treatment at Loma Linda Hospital. I also told him I had lung cancer for a short amount of time. I showed him pictures of when I was sick from my phone, and when he was done looking at the pictures. He told me that he couldn’t believe that I was a cancer patient.
While he was looking at my pictures, I told him that I made a PowerPoint Presentation. While looking at the pictures, I knew I had something special with my PowerPoint because of the physical reaction I saw from him. I feel like he saw himself within my story.
He liked how I started off the PowerPoint talking about how I was active playing sports, then I had knee cancer and had to get a knee replacement. I was able to return back to high school and made the high school basketball team, but the cancer came back in the same knee and I had to undergo chemotherapy all over again.
He liked how I able to show my ups and downs within my PowerPoint. After seeing my PowerPoint in its entirety, the patient said my story felt like a movie. I told him my approach was to present my life through my PowerPoint as if it were a film.
The patient asked me what do I plan to do with my PowerPoint, and I replied by saying I’m working on being an inspirational speaker. I expressed that I want to speak at my high school this month. I told him about the inFAMOUS video game franchise and how it helped me when I needed something to relate to. He said inserting inFAMOUS alongside my story is going to help the students in high school because they love video games.
We began to compare our experiences and we agreed that even though we are different, but in some ways we are the same. When he asked me about my experience about getting my leg amputated. I told him of course it was difficult because I had my right leg my whole life, then when I was 17 years old, it was gone forever.
He told me that he wouldn’t know how to feel if his leg got amputated. He said I was strong because he couldn’t even think of losing one of his legs. The thought of ever losing one of his legs has never crossed his mind.
When my volunteering shift was over, the patient told me that when people normally come to his room. They ask him how he is doing and they leave. He noticed that I was different because I told him I was a cancer survivor and asked if he wanted to talk. He expressed that nobody has ever asked if he wanted to talk, and we talked for almost an hour. He said it felt good to talk to somebody who has been through similar situations as him.
* I told the patient that me being an inspirational speaker has to work because I put a lot of time, energy and my heart into perfecting my craft. He said not many people are talking about this topic and this could be my niche.